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Easy as Pi: Magic Circle duo acts on £615m deal as Swiss manufacturer buys Premier Farnell

Allen & Overy (A&O) and Slaughter and May have advised on the acquisition of British electronics company Premier Farnell by Swiss manufacturing giant Dätwyler for £615m.

London-listed Premier Farnell manufactures the Raspberry Pi (pictured), a single-board computer the size of a credit card. The mini PC, which is intended for teaching code and computer science in schools and developing countries, has sold more than eight million units, making it the best-selling UK computer.

Dätwyler, which makes engineering and industrial parts, confirmed the purchase on Tuesday (14 June). Investors will receive 165p per Premier Farnell share, an increase of more than 50% on Friday’s closing price. The deal values the British firm at an enterprise value of £792m.

A&O’s team advising Premier Farnell was led by corporate partners Richard Browne and Annabelle Croker, with support from corporate partner Seth Jones, anti-trust partner Alasdair Balfour, incentives partner Paul McCarthy and employment partners Mark Mansell and Inge Vanderreken.

Slaughter and May’s team acting on the deal included senior partner Steve Cooke, corporate partner Martin Hattrell and the recently promoted Murray Cox.

Meanwhile, Ashurst is advising UBS Switzerland on the financing aspects of the deal with a team led by finance partner Mark Vickers. Corporate partner Tom Mercer is also advising on the transaction, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2016.

A&O is a longstanding adviser to Premier Farnell, having acted in 2013 on its £18m funding arrangement for its pension scheme. The Magic Circle firm has previously advised on major electronics deals, including German chemical group Merck’s takeover for £1.6bn of Luxembourg-based AZ Electronics Materials in 2013.

Other high-profile public M&A deals for the firm include advising US tech firm Computer Sciences Corporation on the acquisition of British outsourcing company Xchanging for approximately £480m in 2015 and acting for Lone Star Real Estate Fund IV on its recommended £745m cash offer for Quintain Estates and Development last year.