Dealwatch: Latham and Linklaters bet on £2.2bn William Hill disposal as £1.2bn easyJet rights issue flies

Dealwatch: Latham and Linklaters bet on £2.2bn William Hill disposal as £1.2bn easyJet rights issue flies

While it could hardly be said to have slowed down over summer, the deal market has nevertheless ramped up since the beginning of September with easyJet’s £1.2bn rights issue and Caesars’ £2.2bn disposal of William Hill’s international business among the more high-profile recent transactions.

Latham & Watkins and Linklaters won lead roles as 888 Holdings agreed to acquire the international business – the non-US assets – of William Hill at an enterprise value of £2.2bn. Continue reading “Dealwatch: Latham and Linklaters bet on £2.2bn William Hill disposal as £1.2bn easyJet rights issue flies”

Dealwatch: Sign of the times for advisers on Priory Group and vegan foods deals

Dealwatch: Sign of the times for advisers on Priory Group and vegan foods deals

Innovative, Covid-driven transactions have continued to emerge in recent months, with the first working week of 2021 proving no exception. As many embark on ‘Veganuary’ after the meaty excesses of the holiday season, a timely deal has been the acquisition by LIVEKINDLY Collective, a collection of plant-based food companies, of No Meat, Iceland Foods’ vegan meat alternative company.

Also topical, given the increasing challenges to mental health imposed by the pandemic, is a deal that sees Acadia Healthcare Company sell its UK business – which operates as The Priory Group – to Waterland Private Equity for £1.08bn. Continue reading “Dealwatch: Sign of the times for advisers on Priory Group and vegan foods deals”

Dealwatch: $39bn AstraZeneca deal caps off pharma boom year as advisers secure roles on G4S bidding war

Dealwatch: $39bn AstraZeneca deal caps off pharma boom year as advisers secure roles on G4S bidding war

News over the weekend of AstraZeneca’s $39bn deal to acquire Alexion Pharmaceuticals has capped off the 2020 pharma boom in style with what has been touted as the largest acquisition of a US target company and the largest acquisition financing of the year.

Elsewhere, advisers benefited from another big-ticket transaction as the bidding war for security services company G4S ramped up with a bid from Allied Universal, and an equity valuation of £3.8bn.  Continue reading “Dealwatch: $39bn AstraZeneca deal caps off pharma boom year as advisers secure roles on G4S bidding war”

Cranes in the sky: UK real estate market rebuilds

Cranes in the sky: UK real estate market rebuilds

With real estate investment moving out of paralysis post-election, Muna Abdi asks which firms are best prepared to take advantage

The enduring political and economic quagmire in the UK, initially shaped by the 2016 Brexit referendum, provided much of the framework for pessimistic commentary towards the end of the decade on many sectors, not least real estate. But the start of 2020 has brought fresh impetus: ‘The end of Corbynism will encourage most in the real estate market, which is not known for its left-wing leanings. It will also see a return of the uber-rich to London with high-end and luxury residential already experiencing a massive boost,’ predicts Eversheds Sutherland head of London real estate, Bruce Dear. Continue reading “Cranes in the sky: UK real estate market rebuilds”

Dealwatch: US firms enjoy marquee run of deals with Kirkland and Goodwin leading the way

Dealwatch: US firms enjoy marquee run of deals with Kirkland and Goodwin leading the way
  • Kirkland & Ellis advised investment adviser and repeat customer GLP Investment Services on the $18.7bn sale of its US logistics business to The Blackstone Group. The Chicago-bred juggernaut fielded corporate partners Michael Steele in London and Michael Brueck in New York. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett advised longstanding client Blackstone out of New York with real estate partner Davis Coen leading the team.
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  • Eversheds Sutherland advised Legal & General (L&G) on its £4.6bn buy-in to buy-out with the Rolls-Royce UK Pension Fund, with corporate partner Hugo Laing and pensions specialist Mark Latimour leading the team. The deal is billed as the UK’s largest-ever annuity transfer and saw CMS advise L&G with partner Thomas Lockley at the helm, while Linklaters acted for the trustees with global head of pensions Claire Petheram and derivatives partner Mark Brown advising. Continue reading “Dealwatch: US firms enjoy marquee run of deals with Kirkland and Goodwin leading the way”

Dealwatch: Global 100 firms share spoils on flurry of private equity and public M&A mandates

Dealwatch: Global 100 firms share spoils on flurry of private equity and public M&A mandates
  • Slaughter and May is acting on the £1.3bn unsolicited bid for doorstep lender Provident Financial. Corporate head Andy Ryde (pictured) is joined by Paul Mudie in advising the bid from Non-Standard Finance. Provident, meanwhile, has enlisted Clifford Chance corporate partners Lee Coney and Mark Poulton.
  • Eversheds Sutherland fielded a team led by partner Aleen Gulvanessian on Dairy Crest’s £975m sale to Canadian dairy company Saputo. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer acted for the buyer, with energy and natural resources head Laurie McFadden and corporate partner Stephen Hewes at the helm. Ashurst advised Lazard as buy-side financial adviser.

Continue reading “Dealwatch: Global 100 firms share spoils on flurry of private equity and public M&A mandates”

Dealwatch: Pre-Christmas run of real estate and power deals for US and City players

Dealwatch: Pre-Christmas run of real estate and power deals for US and City players
  • Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) is advising entertainment and communications company ARRIS on its proposed $7.4bn acquisition by CommScope Holding Company. The HSF team is led by corporate partners Gavin Davies, Alex Kay and Caroline Rae. Pinsent Masons is acting for CommScope on the acquisition with corporate partners Rob Hutchings and Roberta Markovina leading. Alston & Bird also advised CommScope while fellow US outfit Troutman Sanders acted alongside HSF for ARRIS.

Continue reading “Dealwatch: Pre-Christmas run of real estate and power deals for US and City players”

Deal watch: Bakers and Slaughters drink in £3.1bn Horlicks acquisition as AJ Bell IPO yields dividends for Pinsents and Addleshaws

Deal watch: Bakers and Slaughters drink in £3.1bn Horlicks acquisition as AJ Bell IPO yields dividends for Pinsents and Addleshaws

As the market hunkers down for the festive season, GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) £3.1bn sale to Unilever of Horlicks has warmed the cockles of City teams from Baker McKenzie and Slaughter and May, while Pinsent Masons and Addleshaw Goddard have won key mandates on what is likely the year’s last big London listing.

The GSK deal sees it sell its malted drink brand Horlicks and other consumer healthcare nutrition brands to Unilever and includes the merger of listed GSK Consumer Healthcare India with Hindustan Unilever. GSK will also sell its 82% stake in GlaxoSmithKline Bangladesh in the deal, which is slated to complete by the end of next year. Continue reading “Deal watch: Bakers and Slaughters drink in £3.1bn Horlicks acquisition as AJ Bell IPO yields dividends for Pinsents and Addleshaws”

Deal watch: Slaughters and Kirkland drill into giant $12bn offshore plc merger as Travers and Eversheds maximise L&G’s pensions buy-out

Deal watch: Slaughters and Kirkland drill into giant $12bn offshore plc merger as Travers and Eversheds maximise L&G’s pensions buy-out

Slaughter and May and Kirkland & Ellis have led on the $12bn combination of UK Plc offshore drilling companies Ensco and Rowan Companies as Travers Smith and Eversheds Sutherland wrap up Legal & General’s £2.4bn buyout of Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan.

The drilling merger – an all-stock deal and a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangements – will see the shareholders of Ensco and Rowan own 60.5% and 39.5% respectively of the combined business. Continue reading “Deal watch: Slaughters and Kirkland drill into giant $12bn offshore plc merger as Travers and Eversheds maximise L&G’s pensions buy-out”

Deal round-up: Travers advises Shazam on Apple buyout as Freshfields and Norton Rose strike gold on $18bn mining merger

Deal round-up: Travers advises Shazam on Apple buyout as Freshfields and Norton Rose strike gold on $18bn mining merger

In the latest flurry of deals, Travers Smith has represented popular mobile app Shazam on its buyout by tech giant Apple, while a raft of international firms have benefitted from recent transactional activity.

Shazam, which was founded in 2002, is a song recognition app which can identify what music is playing via a phone’s inbuilt microphone. The deal for Shazam, reportedly worth $400m, will see Apple offer the app on an ad-free basis for all users. Continue reading “Deal round-up: Travers advises Shazam on Apple buyout as Freshfields and Norton Rose strike gold on $18bn mining merger”