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Repeat business: Slaughters and Linklaters act as Wood Group to take over Amec in £5bn deal

Slaughter and May and Linklaters gained advisory roles as energy services group Amec Foster Wheeler agreed to a £2.2bn takeover by Wood Group in an all-share offer that brings together two of the UK’s largest energy services companies.

Slaughters is advising Wood Group, with corporate partners Simon Nicholls (pictured), Paul Dickson and Chris McGaffin as lead advisers. Nicholls has acted for John Wood Group on its 2010 acquisition of smaller rival PSN, the UK aspects of the disposal of its Well Support Division to GE, and its subsequent return of cash to shareholders.

Linklaters is advising Amec Foster Wheeler through global head of corporate Aedamar Comiskey and corporate partner James Inglis. The Magic Circle firm has advised the engineering firm for more than a decade, and acted on the 2014 takeover of Foster Wheeler by Amec.

The Wood Group deal will create a new entity with a combined value of £5bn, as Scottish company Wood Group is offering £5.64 per Amec share, for 56% ownership of the combined group. Shares in both companies climbed significantly after the announcement.

The merger is conditional on shareholder approvals and certain competition and regulatory clearances, but is expected to close in the second half of 2017.

Earlier this month, Slaughters also had a role alongside Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Maclay Murray & Spens on Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management’s £3.8bn merger, which on completion will create the UK’s largest asset manager with £660bn in assets under management.

In January, Nicholls also acted opposite a string of other firms on Johnson & Johnson’s $30bn offer to buy Swiss biotech company Actelion.

Linklaters sat opposite Davis Polk & Wardwell and Kirkland & Ellis last month, advising on Reckitt Benckiser’s (RB’s) $17.9bn acquisition of Mead Johnson, the first large transatlantic merger of 2017.

Read more on the City’s leading deal shops in: ‘The M&A Report: To have and to have not’