Legal Business Blogs

Linklaters takes Bovis mandate from Freshfields as Slaughters and Camerons line up on builders takeover talks

Linklaters has won a mandate to lead takeover defence for FTSE 250 housebuilder Bovis Homes, advising on merger bids from two rivals, with CMS Cameron McKenna advising prospective buyer Galliford Try. The negotiations saw regular Bovis adviser Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer lose out on the mandate to its Magic Circle rival.

A team led by Linklaters partners Nick Garland and Iain Fenn acted for Bovis, which had previously turned to Freshfields for its advice and lists the firm as its main adviser in its annual report to investors.

Linklaters’ appointment saw its regular client Redrow, the other bidder for Bovis, turn to Slaughter and May for advice. Slaughters’ advice was led by Martin Hattrell with support from partners Sally Wokes, Ed Fife, Bertrand Louveaux and  Dominic Robertson.

Camerons head of equity capital markets Gary Green and corporate partner James Parkes advised Galliford Try in its takeover attempt which would have created a UK housebuilder with a market value of £2.5bn. The firm has advised Galliford Try on several key mandates including the housebuilders’ £125m rights issue back in 2009, its £108m takeover of Linden Homes in 2007, and the acquisitions of Chartdale and Morrison Construction.

Bovis confirmed on 12 March that it had received written preliminary merger proposals from Galliford Try and  Redrow, but had rejected both as they did not ‘reflect the underlying value of the Bovis business’.

A deadline was set of 9 April for further bids, however Redrow did not proceed with a further offer and Galliford Try pulled out of talks earlier this week.

While the domestic merger fell through, Linklaters has also seen UK deal work in its recent mandate advising Amec Foster Wheeler on its £2.2bn takeover by Wood Group, which was advised by Slaughter and May.

Read more in: ‘The M&A Report’