Dealwatch: Ashurst and Travers double up on McColl’s and Ideagen acquisitions as Freshfields energises offshore wind deal

Dealwatch: Ashurst and Travers double up on McColl’s and Ideagen acquisitions as Freshfields energises offshore wind deal

A trio of City firms acted on the sale out of insolvency of McColl’s to supermarket chain Morrisons, in a week that also saw significant mandates in the renewable energy and software sectors.

The transaction, which was structured as a pre-pack sale following the initiation of administration proceedings by McColl’s board on 6 May, ensured all employees would avoid redundancy, while also protecting all pension schemes. Continue reading “Dealwatch: Ashurst and Travers double up on McColl’s and Ideagen acquisitions as Freshfields energises offshore wind deal”

Dealwatch: City players drill down on Siccar Point Energy sale as US elite act on IFS and WorkWave deal

Dealwatch: City players drill down on Siccar Point Energy sale as US elite act on IFS and WorkWave deal

Significant deals in the pharmaceutical, energy and software space have got the market talking over the last week, as City and US giants scored major mandates.

Ithaca Energy is acquiring Siccar Point Energy, best known for operating the Cambo oil and gas field in the North Sea, for $1.5bn. The buyer will pay $1.1bn up front, with the potential for $360m of additional payments dependent on future developments and commodity prices. Continue reading “Dealwatch: City players drill down on Siccar Point Energy sale as US elite act on IFS and WorkWave deal”

Dealwatch: Simpson Thacher and Kirkland lead on EQT’s €6.8bn BPEA deal as Freshfields and HSF jump aboard Stagecoach offer

Dealwatch: Simpson Thacher and Kirkland lead on EQT’s €6.8bn BPEA deal as Freshfields and HSF jump aboard Stagecoach offer

EQT’s €6.8bn acquisition of Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA), Cinven’s $2.6bn buyout of BESP and Pan-European Infrastructure III’s (PEIF III) £595m cash offer for Stagecoach Group Plc have kept advisers busy in recent days, as private equity deals continue to drive the M&A market.

Stockholm-headquartered EQT reached an agreement to buy Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) for €6.8bn. The consideration includes 191.2 million new ordinary EQT shares, valued at €5.3bn, and €1.5bn in cash.

Continue reading “Dealwatch: Simpson Thacher and Kirkland lead on EQT’s €6.8bn BPEA deal as Freshfields and HSF jump aboard Stagecoach offer”

Deal watch: Global London elite turns out for KKR’s Refresco buyout and Macquarie’s Roadchef acquisition

Deal watch: Global London elite turns out for KKR’s Refresco buyout and Macquarie’s Roadchef acquisition

The private equity boom has shown no signs of slowing down in recent weeks, with the London offices of US firms taking the lead on noteworthy acquisitions in the logistics, food & drink, and infrastructure sectors.

Skadden, Simpson Thacher and Latham & Watkins advised on the acquisition by KKR of a majority stake in independent beverage contract manufacturer Refresco. The deal will see existing investors PAI Partners and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) retaining a minority stake in the company. Continue reading “Deal watch: Global London elite turns out for KKR’s Refresco buyout and Macquarie’s Roadchef acquisition”

Dealwatch: Golden ticket for Skadden and Taylor Wessing as they lead on Netflix’s Roald Dahl acquisition

Dealwatch: Golden ticket for Skadden and Taylor Wessing as they lead on Netflix’s Roald Dahl acquisition

Pundits on the apparently unceasingly bullish deal markets have become well-versed in pointing to sectors that have particularly been stoked by altered habits wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, with varying degrees of credibility. Nevertheless, scrolling through the mass of deals announced in the past week or so, one in particular stands out as indubitably part of that trend – the acquisition by Netflix of The Roald Dahl Story Company Limited – which manages the literary works, copyrights and trade marks of the internationally renowned author.

Indeed, the rationale (and value) of the transaction is plain to see in a world where complaints of having run out of things to watch on the now-ubiquitous television and film streaming giant has become a common refrain among peers and clients alike. Continue reading “Dealwatch: Golden ticket for Skadden and Taylor Wessing as they lead on Netflix’s Roald Dahl acquisition”

Comment: Value is critical but ESG intentions must check out in Morrisons take-private

Comment: Value is critical but ESG intentions must check out in Morrisons take-private

‘This level of scrutiny of governance is quite unusual. Historically in deals of this kind, no-one ever used to ask: “What’s going to happen to the workers?” It is becoming more and more of an issue as companies seek to avoid reputational damage.’

The words of Paul Watchman, ESG luminary, senior UN legal adviser and former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner on the proposed £6.3bn takeover of UK supermarket giant Morrisons resonate as the deal looks set not only to become one of the biggest public to private transactions of the decade, but also to enshrine a playbook for ESG in years to come. Continue reading “Comment: Value is critical but ESG intentions must check out in Morrisons take-private”

Dealwatch: Global 100 firms bank on €1.8bn Visa deal as payments, gaming and ESG charge the market

Dealwatch: Global 100 firms bank on €1.8bn Visa deal as payments, gaming and ESG charge the market

As Euro 2020 fever well and truly takes hold, the London deal team of Skadden has scored four times in recent days, not least advising Visa on its €1.8bn acquisition of European open banking platform Tink opposite an international team from White & Case.

Tapping into the ongoing trend of transactions in the online payments sector, the high-profile deal sees the US financial services giant acquire Stockholm-headquartered Tink, a platform that enables banks, fintechs and start-ups to develop data-driven financial services. Continue reading “Dealwatch: Global 100 firms bank on €1.8bn Visa deal as payments, gaming and ESG charge the market”

Legal 500 analysis – is the Magic Circle’s dominance in the UK M&A market under threat?

Legal 500 analysis – is the Magic Circle’s dominance in the UK M&A market under threat?

‘It’s a snowball effect. Look at private equity (PE) – that used to be dominated by Clifford Chance (CC), Freshfields and Ashurst but now it’s US firms,’ warns Weil London head Mike Francies. ‘The same hasn’t happened in M&A yet but nearly all of the top US firms here are now trying to build it. In my view, in the same way that a range of top UK firms have fallen behind the Magic Circle, it’s inevitable that the Magic Circle will end up falling behind the US firms for global M&A.’

On the face of it, there’s nothing new about the top US firms’ assault on the City legal market. Having pushed remuneration packages up to eye-watering seven or eight figure sums for the most coveted names, their extensive hiring sprees and growing dominance in areas such as PE and leverage finance have been well documented. Continue reading “Legal 500 analysis – is the Magic Circle’s dominance in the UK M&A market under threat?”

Dealwatch: Advisers get KKR infra play on the road as CC and MoFo energise $3.5bn renewables disposal

Dealwatch: Advisers get KKR infra play on the road as CC and MoFo energise $3.5bn renewables disposal

As market activity continues to branch out into diverse sectors, some of the biggest deals have had an energy and infrastructure flavour recently, with KKR’s £2bn takeover of John Laing Group and SoftBank’s disposal of its renewables venture SB Energy India proving standouts.

US private equity investor KKR agreed to acquire listed infrastructure group John Laing in a deal which will also see investor Equitix jointly own John Laing’s existing asset portfolio. Continue reading “Dealwatch: Advisers get KKR infra play on the road as CC and MoFo energise $3.5bn renewables disposal”