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Takeover potential – Linklaters & Simmons lead on Amec’s £700m bid for Kentz

Linklaters and
Simmons & Simmons‘ longstanding corporate relationships with Amec and Kentz have gifted them with a potentially lucrative takeover bid instruction as Kentz this week announced it had rejected a £700m offer from its larger engineering rival.

Linklaters corporate partners Shane Griffin and Aedamar Comiskey are leading the team for Amec, which it has advised on corporate matters for well over a decade. Simmons corporate partner Edward Baker is advising Kentz on the offer, which the FTSE 250 engineering company said it had rejected, together with an earlier offer in July from Germany’s M+W Group, on the basis that it undervalued the company.

Simmons previously advised Tipperary-based engineering contractor Kentz, which helps companies to develop oilfields, gasfields and mines, on its 2008 AIM listing and its move to the main market in 2011, on which Baker also led. Ogiers led by corporate partner Tim Morgan and William Fry is understood to have a secondary role on this latest deal.

While July and August typically represent a lull in corporate work, the bid by AMEC is the latest of a series of high profile bids for UK engineering companies during the summer months.

Earlier this month, British industrial manufacturer Edwards Group was bought out by Swedish engineering company Atlas Copco for $1.6m, with the London office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Davis Polk & Wardwell notably taking leading roles for Edwards. Last month, meanwhile, saw the £3.3bn takeover bid by France’s Schneider Electric for UK engineering firm Invensys. Magic Circle firms Linklaters and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are advising the respective companies on the deal.

Amec has until 16 September to make a formal bid for Kentz, said in the financial press to be holding out for a better offer.

Speaking earlier to Legal Business, Simmons international head of corporate, Mark Curtis, said that the end of July and August have seen more deals as the market gears up for autumn.