The deal teams of elite City firms have seen a busy end of July amid several multibillion-pound deals, as the London Stock Exchange (LSE) launched a $27bn bid to acquire Refinitiv and Advent International announced the £4bn acquisition of UK aerospace supplier Cobham. Meanwhile, another private equity house investing in the UK aviation industry, CVC Capital Partners, acquired BBA Aviation’s aircraft parts unit Ontic for $1.37bn. Continue reading “Deal watch: LSE acquisition and aviation industry spell busy summer for the Magic Circle”
Anna Cole-Bailey rounds up the latest senior corporate in-house moves
A string of general counsel (GCs) have made career changes of late, including high-profile names such as the long-serving Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) European legal chief Sajid Hussein and Rio Tinto GC Philip Richards. Continue reading “‘Time for a change’ as multiple corporate legal chiefs leave posts for pastures new”
If there’s one City practice that has barely paused for breath in recent years, it is private equity (PE). Global buyout values reached a record high in 2018 and, while Mergermarket data suggests the first half of 2019 slipped back somewhat, activity levels remain strong, with take-privates driving much marquee M&A activity.
This has only served to underline the drawing power of the sector’s top dealmakers and recent years have seen a flurry of lateral moves. Kirkland & Ellis, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Latham & Watkins are among the most potent threats to the Magic Circle, but others, such as Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Willkie Farr & Gallagher have also made investments to build out their City operations. Continue reading “Top Trumps, City-style – Who holds the cards in private equity?”
Royal Mail has filled the void left following former general counsel (GC) Maaike de Bie’s departure to easyJet, hiring in-house veteran Mark Amsden as its group GC and chief risk and governance officer.
Amsden was group GC and company secretary for Morrisons between 2013 and 2017, before a brief stint last year as interim company secretary at Yorkshire Water. Prior to going in-house, Amsden spent 14 years as a partner at Addleshaw Goddard, after starting out at Manchester firm Slater Heelis. Royal Mail has historically counted Addleshaws among its preferred external counsel. Continue reading “In-house round-up: New GCs for Royal Mail, Sky and Deliveroo”
When looking for good in the world, corporate governance law is not the most obvious place to train your eye. However, there is a sizeable band of corporations – thousands, in fact – who have opted to start just there, using corporate governance as a springboard to the greater good.
Shareholder primacy, often cast as the villain in corporate scandals or blinkered business decisions, operates on the theory that the job of directors and management is to maximise returns to investors. In turn, corporate law is traditionally viewed as a contract between corporations and investors that the company will, in the balance of law, deliver the highest return. Continue reading “Corporations with benefits – Assessing the rise of US public benefit companies”
Linklaters has secured a role in the pre-pack administration of Debenhams, in which the struggling department store has been taken over by its lenders.
Meanwhile, Hogan Lovells and Shoosmiths have acted on M Restaurants’ merger with Gaucho, which was brought out of administration in a rescue deal last September, as multiple firms landed roles in The Carlyle Group’s agreement to buy a minority stake in a Madrid-based oil and gas company in a multibillion-dollar deal. Continue reading “Deal watch: Linklaters lands roles on Debenhams administration and Carlyle oil deal”
The cliché says that you have to start somewhere and so Goodwin Procter’s London branch did in 2011 with a solitary partner at a desk with a phone. While it arrived late to the City – fellow Boston outfit Ropes & Gray beat it by a couple of years and has enjoyed a very strong run since – now it is Goodwin’s turn.
City revenue grew 58% in 2018, more than three times the pace of the firm globally, hitting $66.8m in the same year it launched a European life sciences practice and amid a punchy 16% hike in global turnover to $1.2bn. Profit per equity partner saw a 14% spike to $2.46m and revenue per lawyer grew 10% to $1.25m, showing the firm has performed to every metric of success both in the City and in its other offices in Boston, New York and San Francisco. Continue reading “Deal View: Goodwin’s City practice goes beyond the clichés with 58% revenue growth”
M&A focus: A sign of things to come? Europe’s deal market ends 2018 with a whimper after a forceful start
The ghost of political turmoil did little to hinder deal-doing in Europe in the first half of 2018 but its presence appears to have made itself increasingly felt as the year wore on. With plcs wary of major investments ahead of the threat of mounting Brexit-related convulsions, not to mention a mainland European economy that lost some pace through 2018, it was an uneven run for corporate takeovers.
Globally, the latest figures from Mergermarket show the volume of deals completed in 2018 fell for the first time since 2010 to 19,232, after a decade of steadily rising. However, if overall activity was subdued, there was more cause for cheer with marquee deals; average deal value rose to $384.8m, the second-highest value on record, falling just short of the $400.3m notched up in 2015. Continue reading “M&A focus: A sign of things to come? Europe’s deal market ends 2018 with a whimper after a forceful start”
‘Most listed companies have run across activists by now or at least come close,’ says Andy Ryde, Slaughter and May’s head of corporate. Shareholder activism, once barely registering on UK shores, is becoming a fact of life for corporate counsel. Is the trend set to continue?
Allen & Overy (A&O) M&A partner Richard Browne certainly thinks so: ‘The stock market has been going strong over the last couple of years and it is harder for activists to gain traction because shareholders are seeing prices go up. There is likely to be an explosion in activist-driven deals when the market turns.’ Continue reading “Deal View: ‘Tooling up’ – Activist funds edging into the mainstream of UK deal scene”