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Magic Circle prove mettle as Tata and ThyssenKrupp agree €15bn steel JV

Following last month’s separation of Tata Steel’s business from the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS), Linklaters and Slaughter and May have been drafted in to advise on its much-anticipated €15bn joint venture with Germany’s ThyssenKrupp.

The 50:50 project received the green light as the firms signed a memorandum of understanding today (20 September) to launch an Amsterdam-headquartered joint venture consisting of a 48,000-strong workforce spread across 34 locations. A final agreement is expected to be signed in 2018.  

Slaughters is acting for longstanding client Tata Steel on the deal, alongside best friend firms Hengeler Mueller and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek.

Slaughters’ team is led by M&A partners Robin Ogle and Padraig Cronin, alongside finance partner Andrew McClean. German-based Hengeler Mueller’s team comprises M&A partners Christof Jackle and Karsten Schmidt-Hern while M&A partners Mark Rebergen and Anja Mutsaers make up the team from Netherlands firm De Brauw.

Linklaters is advising ThyssenKrupp, with a team headed by Düsseldorf M&A partners Kristina Klaassen-Kaiser and Ralph Wollburg.

Ogle told Legal Business the deal was particularly interesting given its ‘cross-border nature’ and highlighted the successful co-operation between Slaughters and its best friend firms on the continent.

Despite the two steel manufacturers being in negotiations since last year, Tata’s separation from the BSPS was seen as a major obstacle to any combination. However, the separation completed in August through a regulated apportionment agreement and by paying £550m to BSPS.

Slaughter and May was on hand to advise on the restructuring through pensions and employment partner Charles Cameron. Travers Smith represented the BSPS trustee, with a team led by pensions partners Paul Stannard, Dan Naylor and Susie Daykin, while Hogan Lovells represented the Pension Protection Fund.