Deal Watch: Slaughters advises on £3.6bn ICI pension annuity buy-in and £390m Ignis buyout; Travers leads on $3.1bn Nets sale

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Standout corporate mandates over the past few days have included a high profile run by Slaughter and May on deals including a £3.6bn bulk annuity buy-in over the ICI Pension Fund and Standard Life’s £390m acquisition of Ignis Asset Management, as Travers Smith and Kirkland & Ellis led on the $3.1bn acquisition of Nordic card-payment business Nets Holding. Continue reading “Deal Watch: Slaughters advises on £3.6bn ICI pension annuity buy-in and £390m Ignis buyout; Travers leads on $3.1bn Nets sale”

UK elite firms defy the transactional gloom of 2013

New Year surge in high-value deals after subdued year

While deal activity was down again in 2013, last year’s growth in confidence in the corporate sector, together with fundraising activity among a number of large private equity houses, has seen some of the UK’s elite firms advise on high-value deals announced in January, including Amec’s $3.2bn acquisition of Swiss rival Foster Wheeler.

The Linklaters team advising Amec was led by corporate finance partner Shane Griffin, alongside fellow corporate partner Aedamar Comiskey. Scott Sonnenblick and Tom Shropshire are advising on US law aspects of the deal from New York and London respectively, while John Tucker and Simon Pritchard are leading on finance and antitrust issues.

Continue reading “UK elite firms defy the transactional gloom of 2013”

Deal watch – Norton Rose Fulbright and Freshfields lead on BMO’s $1.2bn takeover of F&C

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Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) is advising one of its oldest clients, Edinburgh-based UK and European asset manager F&C Asset Management on its $1.2bn acquisition by Bank of Montreal (BMO Financial Group) led by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

The NRF team is being led by London corporate partners Chris Randall and Paul Whitelock, with BMO’s former senior vice president, deputy general counsel and chief compliance officer John Jason, who joined the top 10 LB100 firm’s Toronto office as of counsel earlier this month, also involved on the deal. Continue reading “Deal watch – Norton Rose Fulbright and Freshfields lead on BMO’s $1.2bn takeover of F&C”

Deal Watch: CC, Freshfields and A&O act on Liberty Global’s €6.9bn acquisition as Dentons and LG float Hurricane

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Three Magic Circle firms have scored lead advisory roles on Liberty Global’s €6.9bn acquisition of Netherlands’ largest cable operator Ziggo, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Clifford Chance (CC) and Allen & Overy (A&O) all acting on the deal.

A&O’s Amsterdam-based corporate partner Annelies van der Pauw led for Liberty Global and competition partner Paul Glazener worked on the antitrust aspects, as the joint entity will have around 90% of the regulated Dutch fixed line cable market, while CC’s finance partner Mark Huddlestone headed up the team to advising the lenders. Continue reading “Deal Watch: CC, Freshfields and A&O act on Liberty Global’s €6.9bn acquisition as Dentons and LG float Hurricane”

Deal watch: Taylor Wessing and Freshfields advise on HSBC Jordan bank deal

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HSBC’s steps to streamline its business by disposing of non-core global assets has gifted Taylor Wessing and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer with a significant Middle East mandate, as Arab Jordan Investment Bank (AJIB) acquires the international retail bank’s local assets.

Taylor Wessing’s City-based corporate partner Ronald Graham advised AJIB on the deal, which constitutes one of the biggest banking agreements that Jordan has ever seen, with support from local firm Dajani & Associates. Continue reading “Deal watch: Taylor Wessing and Freshfields advise on HSBC Jordan bank deal”

Deal watch: Dentons advises Total on UK shale gas interest

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As the unconventional method of extracting shale gas increasingly becomes a phenomenon in the UK, Dentons has taken the lead on advising French oil and gas corporation Total on its 40% interest in two shale gas exploration licences in the UK- the first major oil company to invest in UK shale.

The energy giant confirmed it would invest $48.1m (£29.3m) in the search for shale gas in the Gainsborough Trough area in the East Midlands region covering an area of 240 sq km.

The Dentons team was led by energy partner Danielle Beggs and environment partner Sam Boileau, alongside its energy and planning team including senior associates John Stockdale and Roy Pinnock.

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Dealwatch: HSF, Clifford Chance and Slaughters take the spotlight in Cineworld expansion

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Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has landed a role advising Barclays, JP Morgan and Investec on Cineworld Group‘s £107m rights issue and £504m acquisition of Warsaw-listed Cinema City International, a deal announced yesterday (09 January) that would create a cinema chain with almost 2,000 screens across Europe and Israel. Corporate partners Mike Flockhart and Chris Haynes are leading the team, with US securities advice from Steve Thierbach.

Slaughter and May is advising Cineworld, with corporate partners Mark Zerdin and David Johnson taking the lead. Continue reading “Dealwatch: HSF, Clifford Chance and Slaughters take the spotlight in Cineworld expansion”

Deal watch: Corporate activity in October

Arrow Global IPO

Debevoise & Plimpton and Slaughter and May landed roles on Arrow Global’s initial public offering (IPO). Slaughters was the primary adviser to Arrow Global and its primary shareholder RBS Special Opportunities Fund (RBS), led by corporate partners David Johnson and Richard Smith. The London office of Debevoise, led by David Innes, advised members of the executive committee and other shareholders on its successful IPO last month, which valued the company at £357m. The successful IPO marks a partial exit for RBS, which acquired the company in 2009.

Cleary advises Inter Milan on equity sale

Inter Milan has turned to Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton on the sale of equity to International Sports Capital (ISC), which will give ISC a controlling 70% stake in the club. Cleary’s team was led by  Continue reading “Deal watch: Corporate activity in October”

Deal Watch: Hogan Lovells and CC lead on AMC Networks’ $1bn buyout

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Clifford Chance (CC) and Hogan Lovells have plugged into the renaissance in US television production after advising on a $1bn (€750m) buyout by US entertainment group AMC Networks of Chellomedia, the international content division of media company Liberty Global.

The acquisition announced on Monday (28 October) provides the entertainment group with 68 new television channels distributed to more than 390m households in 138 countries, and the opportunity to distribute its programming worldwide, including celebrated shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and The Walking Dead.

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Deal watch: Hogan Lovells, RPC in key work for Kodak and AstraZeneca as DLA Piper reveals major High Court win

This week has seen two of the larger global challenger firms reveal significant wins on behalf of major international clients. Hogan Lovells closed a $650m acquisition for the trustees of the Kodak Pension Plan and DLA Piper secured victory for China Southern Airlines in the High Court. Meanwhile, one of the top performers in this year’s LB100, RPC, is advising AstraZeneca on its move to a new purpose-built HQ in Cambridge.

Continue reading “Deal watch: Hogan Lovells, RPC in key work for Kodak and AstraZeneca as DLA Piper reveals major High Court win”