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US firms take roles as Melrose becomes first post-Brexit acquirer with $2.81bn Nortek purchase

In a post-Brexit referendum takeover which has seen turnaround group Melrose’s shares soar, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Weil, Gotshal & Manges have secured advisory roles as Melrose purchases US ventilation manufacturer Nortek in a deal worth $2.81bn.

In the first transaction after the referendum with a UK acquirer, Melrose will acquire the manufacturing business, which has more than 90% of its turnover in North America.

Turning to its long-time adviser, Simpson Thacher guided Melrose through the acquisition while Weil acted as legal counsel to Nortek.

Melrose had been on the lookout for new businesses to acquire following its purchase of Elster Group, which Simpson Thacher also advised the buyout group on. German Gas, electricity and water meter manufacturer Elster, advised by Allen & Overy, was sold for £3.3bn to American international conglomerate Honeywell last year.

Other mandates which Simpson Thacher has led on include acting for Melrose in 2011 on its contested public offer for Charter International, which Melrose eventually pulled out of.

Weil’s team on the deal includes US corporate partners Frederick Green and Michael Francies, with public company advice from Lyuba Goltser. Also advising from New York are partners Paul Wessel, Marc Silberberg and Charan Sandhu. Banking and finance partner Chris McLaughlin acted on the deal from London.

Earlier this year Weil had advised the Nortek as it faced a class action alleging defects in its products, which was thrown out by a Florida judge.

Alongside Weil and Simpson Thacher, Nomura International, JP Morgan Cazenove and Bank of America Merrill Lynch also advised Melrose on the deal while Barclays, Citi and RBC Capital Markets advised Nortek.