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Growing the Pi: Gibson Dunn and A&O act on improved US offer for Premier Farnell

Allen & Overy (A&O) and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher have advised on an improved bid for UK-based electronics manufacturer Premier Farnell.

Gibson Dunn acted for US technology company Avnet on the offer of £691m, a 12.1% premium on the previous offer made by Swiss components manufacturer Dätwyler earlier this month.

The previous offer for Premier Farnell, which produces the Raspberry Pi minicomputer, came to an all-cash offer of £615m, a deal valuing the company at an enterprise value of £792m.

The bid by Avnet was for £1.85 per share, up on the original offer by Dätwyler of £1.65 per share, which saw Slaughter and May advising the Swiss firm.

The deal would see Avnet acquire Premier Farnell’s online services as well as the Raspberry Pi. The single-board computer is about the size of a credit card and has sold more than eight million units, making it the UK’s best-selling computer.

Premier Farnell was advised by A&O corporate partners Richard Browne and Annabelle Croker, who also acted on the original offer.

Avnet were advised by a team led by Gibson Dunn’s London corporate partner Nigel Stacey. New York corporate partner Barbara Becker acted on the US side of the deal, advising regular client Avnet.

Stacey joined Gibson Dunn’s City office from Ashurst in 2014, after being with the firm for 16 years. Earlier this month Stacey, alongside corporate head Charlie Geffen,  advised former Ashurst client Terra Firma on its sale of Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group for $1.2bn.

The offer for the electronics firm is the latest in a run of deals for UK technology companies, with ARM holdings agreeing to be acquired by Japanese group SoftBank for £24.3bn. Slaughters and Davis Polk & Wardell acted for ARM, and Morrison Foerster, Freshfields, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton acted for SoftBank.

Slaughters and Davis Polk also faced off in the buyout of VocaLink for £700m. The Magic Circle firm acted for the UK payments systems company, while Davis Polk acted for purchasers MasterCard.