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Dealwatch: Slaughters and Freshfields lead as Zurich bids £5.6bn for UK’s RSA

Magic Circle duo Slaughter and May and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have won roles as Switzerland’s Zurich Insurance Group bids to buyout its FTSE-100 listed rival RSA for £5.6bn.

Slaughter and May is advising RSA Insurance Group on the all-cash offer, led by corporate and commercial partners Andy Ryde and Robert Innes. The team also included competition partner Jordan Ellison, Jan Putnis covering financial regulation and pensions and employment specialist Jonathan Fenn.

Freshfields is acting for Switzerland’s largest insurer Zurich with corporate partners Sundeep Kapila and George Swan leading.

The RSA board received Zurich’s all-cash proposal with shareholders receiving 550p per RSA share and allowed to retain a 3.5p interim dividend announced by the insurer earlier this month.

As of this morning [25 August] the RSA board said would recommend the possible offer to RSA shareholders, as long as there is a ‘satisfactory resolution’ to other terms. The offer comes after Zurich announced it was assessing a potential offer for RSA last month [July] following press reports.

RSA announced it had been awarded an alternative business structure licence by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in March this year, in a joint venture with Parabis Law.