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Media matters: Magic Circle firms take lead roles on £1bn Argus Media deal

Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Allen & Overy have all won advisory roles as US company General Atlantic has taken a majority stake in Argus Media. The deal, which values Argus Media at £1bn, will see the Nasmyth family exit the business they founded in the 1970s.

In a transaction to signify a new era of growth for the company, private equity firm General Atlantic will take a stake in the London-based commodities price reporting company, which is one of the largest commodities price reporting agencies globally with 750 full-time staff in 21 offices worldwide.

Linklaters is advising Argus Media with a team led by corporate partner Roger Barron, while Travers Smith is acting for Argus Media’s management on the deal. The Travers Smith team is led by senior partner Chris Hale working alongside private equity partner Ian Shawyer, while tax partners Jessica Kemp and Russell Warren are providing tax advice.

The executive chairman and significant shareholder in Argus Media, Adrian Binks, is being advised separately by Macfarlanes. The team from Macfarlanes is led by corporate M&A partners Jessica Adam and John Dodsworth.

Freshfields, with support from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is advising private equity firm General Atlantic on the deal. Freshfields’ team is led by Julian Pritchard, Victoria Sigeti and Christopher Davis in London.

Freshfields has worked for General Atlantic in the past, acting as the investment firm and Warburg Pincus picked up a 49% stake in payment-processing business Network International from Abraaj Group last year. It also advised in July last year as General Atlantic agreed to sell a majority stake in medical dianogstic services provider amedes Holding AG to Antin Infrastructure Partners for an undisclosed sum.

Meanwhile, Allen & Overy is acting for the Nasmyth family on its exit from Argus Media. The firm’s team on the deal is led by A&O global managing partner Andrew Ballheimer with assistance from corporate partners George Knighton and Sara Pickersgill.

Ballheimer said: ‘The long-term success of Argus Media is testament to the vision of its founders and senior leadership team who saw, well ahead of other media companies, the commercial value of a hybrid model offering high-value data and reporting, as well as editorial.’