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Slaughters, Freshfields and MoFo chip in on £24.3bn ARM takeover

Slaughter and May, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Morrison & Foerster have scored roles on Japanese telecoms group SoftBank’s £24.3bn deal to acquire UK tech flagbearer ARM Holdings. It is the largest public M&A deal in the UK in 2016 so far.

A long-time adviser to ARM, Slaughter and May led as the chip designer agreed a deal that becomes the largest ever acquisition of a European tech business. ARM turned to M&A heavyweight Steve Cooke to advise it on its historic deal. Cooke, who became Slaughter and May’s senior partner on 1 May, is a longstanding adviser to the Cambridge-based microchip maker.

London-based corporate lawyer Chris McGaffin, who was promoted to partner at Slaughter and May just a year ago, and Brussels-based competition partner Jordan Ellison also advised on the deal. Davis Polk & Wardwell are also listed as legal counsel to ARM. Davis Polk’s team on the deal included managing partner Thomas Reid and Reuven Young.

Morrison & Foerster, a longstanding adviser to SoftBank, again acted for the Japanese bank along with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer which was drafted in to provide London M&A muscle.

Ben Spiers, Freshfields’ global co-head of M&A, and corporate partner Stephen Hewes acted for SoftBank.

Ken Siegel, Morrison & Foerster’s Tokyo managing partner, has represented SoftBank in over $50bn worth of M&A transactions since 2010. He led MoFo’s legal advice to SoftBank alongside Graeme Sloan, the firm’s London head of corporate and a global chair of M&A.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton also won work on the deal, advising The Raine Group, one of the financial advisers to SoftBank. The Cleary team was led by London partner Simon Jay. White & Case also scored a role acting for Mizuho Securities, a financial adviser to SoftBank , with a team led by Jun Usami in Toyko and Philip Broke in London.

Softbank has said ARM will remain an independent business within SoftBank and continue to be headquartered in Cambridge. As part of the transaction, SoftBank has said it intends to at least double the number ARMs UK employees over the next five years.