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Freshfields and Linklaters take spots as GIC and Hellman win bid for Allfunds Bank

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Ropes & Gray, Linklaters and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett have all won roles advising on the €1.8bn sale of Allfunds Bank to private equity house Hellman & Friedman and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC.

Both Hellman and GIC will pick up the Spanish funds platform which has over €265bn assets under administration globally covering 51,000 funds from 541 fund managers. Allfunds has over 530 institutional clients, including commercial banks, private banks and insurance companies from 38 different countries.

Major shareholders Santander and Intesa Sanpaolo will sell their stakes in Allfunds as part of the deal. The remaining 25% will be sold by Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic as part of an agreement reached with Santander in November.

Slaughter and May has continued to advise Santander alongside its best friend Uria Menendez with a team led by the Magic Circle firm’s corporate partner Michael Corbett as well as Uria Menendez M&A partners Antonio Herrera and Stephen Hess. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton M&A partner Simon Jay led a team advising Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic.

Linklaters advised Intesa Sanpaolo on the sale of its stake. The Magic Circle firm’s team included partners Victor Manchado with Giovanni Pedersoli in Madrid and Ben Rodham in London.

Freshfields and Ropes & Gray acted as legal counsel to Hellman & Friedman while Simpson advised GIC.

Freshfields’ cross border team included corporate partners David Higgins (pictured), Tim Wilmot, David Rouch and Madrid office head David Franco.

Higgins told Legal Business: ‘We expect there to be more non-core disposals from financial institutions. Regulators have become more comfortable with private equity and financial investors owning regulated businesses. That should be good for deal opportunities in the sector.’

Ropes took a spot acting on financing aspects of the deal with a team led by global co-head of finance Jane Rogers and Matt Cox, who was recruited from Freshfields back in 2010.

Recent deals Freshfields has worked on for Hellman include the 2012 acquisition of Wood Mackenzie, a deal which valued the energy research and consultancy business at £1.1bn. The firm also acted as Hellman took a controlling stake in Italian software firm TeamSystem in late 2015.

Read more in: ‘The M&A Report: Private equity offers the clients for all seasons’