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”

Dealwatch: Elite firms drill into $7.1bn Valaris restructuring as eclectic deals epitomise market

Dealwatch: Elite firms drill into $7.1bn Valaris restructuring as eclectic deals epitomise market

In what has been called an ‘extraordinary case’, Valaris’ $7bn financial restructuring made sizeable waves this week, as firms including Kirkland & Ellis, Slaughter and May and Akin Gump steered it to a successful conclusion.

The transaction sees offshore drilling service provider Valaris emerge from Chapter 11 after the company filed in August 2020, eliminating $7.1bn of debt and securing a $520m capital injection through the issue of $550m of new secured notes. Continue reading “Dealwatch: Elite firms drill into $7.1bn Valaris restructuring as eclectic deals epitomise market”

The Legal 500 View: Kind of a big deal: The top L500 firms for corporate/M&A

The Legal 500 View: Kind of a big deal: The top L500 firms for corporate/M&A

Legal 500 editors Georgina Stanley and Ben Wheway break down the firms which fare best for corporate and M&A around the world

DLA Piper and Eversheds Sutherland have more top-tier corporate and M&A rankings in the UK Legal 500 than any other firms. Continue reading “The Legal 500 View: Kind of a big deal: The top L500 firms for corporate/M&A”

‘My race in big law has been run’: White & Case private equity veteran Bagshaw to depart this summer

‘My race in big law has been run’: White & Case private equity veteran Bagshaw to depart this summer

White & Case’s high-profile private equity head Ian Bagshaw is set to leave the firm in June to pursue other opportunities outside of law.

The White & Case partnership was informed of Bagshaw’s departure in an internal announcement this morning (16 April). In a LinkedIn post published today, Bagshaw said: ‘After seven years at each of Eversheds, Clifford Chance, Linklaters and White & Case, I have decided that my race in big law has now been run. Continue reading “‘My race in big law has been run’: White & Case private equity veteran Bagshaw to depart this summer”

Dealwatch: Advisers secure Darktrace float and $12bn Aramco sale as Globalworth proves hot property

Dealwatch: Advisers secure Darktrace float and $12bn Aramco sale as Globalworth proves hot property

Another blistering week of deal announcements has seen corporate advisers tasked with a diverse selection of mandates, from the much-anticipated £3bn initial public offering of Darktrace to a $12bn disposal by Aramco and an unusual joint offer for Globalworth Real Estate Investments valued at €1.6bn.

The proposed listing on the London Stock Exchange of British cybersecurity start-up Darktrace has elicited much market speculation, coming as it does after the IPO of food delivery company Deliveroo, which many have termed disastrous. Continue reading “Dealwatch: Advisers secure Darktrace float and $12bn Aramco sale as Globalworth proves hot property”

Dealwatch: Cazoo and Arrival fuel SPAC bonanza as Slaughters leads on Covid vaccine deal

Dealwatch: Cazoo and Arrival fuel SPAC bonanza as Slaughters leads on Covid vaccine deal

The special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) frenzy and coronavirus have continued to drive the market in recent days, with transatlantic corporate teams steering the multibillion-dollar Cazoo and Arrival deals, while an agreement for the acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines has proved a shot in the arm for Slaughter and May and Covington.

The Cazoo de-SPAC heralded key mandates for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Kirkland & Ellis, Slaughters and Cravath, Swaine & Moore. The deal will see the UK online car retailer and AJAX I, a publicly-traded SPAC, merge to form a company with an enterprise value of $7bn. The combined company will retain the Cazoo brand and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Continue reading “Dealwatch: Cazoo and Arrival fuel SPAC bonanza as Slaughters leads on Covid vaccine deal”