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First limb of Lloyds privatisation sees Slaughters and Freshfields win lead roles

Five years on from the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Slaughter and May and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have won the leading roles on the first limb of the government’s privatisation of Lloyds Banking Group, which was rescued by the UK taxpayer in 2008.

Slaughters is advising UK Financial Investments Limited (UKFI) on the HM Treasury’s disposal of a 6% stake in Lloyds Banking Group, worth around £3.3bn.

The Slaughters team is being led by corporate and commercial partner and head of the equity capital markets group, Nilufer von Bismarck, supported by associates Jonathan Wiseman and Liam Townson. The team also includes tax partner Tony Beare who is supported by associate Michael Ringer.

Freshfields is representing Bank of America Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan Cazenove and UBS as joint bookrunners in relation to the sale, led by corporate partners Will Lawes, Julian Makin, Sarah Murphy and Mark Austin, while UK tax advice is being provided by partner David Haworth.

Cravath Swaine & Moore is advising UKFI on US law aspects, led by corporate partner Alyssa Caples, who is supported by associate Jonathan Coleman.

Today’s share placing to institutional investors will raise proceeds of £3.2bn and reduce the government’s 38.7% stake in Lloyds to 32.7%.

In what represents a potential windfall instruction for the Magic Circle firms, the second limb of the privatisation will see the government sell Lloyds stock to retail investors, although potential institutional buyers have been promised that the Treasury will not sell any more Lloyds shares for at least 90 days.