A&O and Shearman close £3.4bn SAP takeover

A raft of top firms have managed to land a £3.4bn cross-border friendly takeover, despite the financial markets’ jitters.

Allen & Overy (A&O), Bredin Prat and Jones Day are advising German-headquartered business software provider SAP on its €4.8bn (£3.4bn) approach for French rival Business Objects.

A&O is advising its longstanding client on German and US law, while Slaughter and May’s French best friend Bredin is leading on French aspects. Jones Day’s role is navigating SAP over the antitrust hurdles, and on some due diligence.

Advising the target is also a multi-firm team, made up of Shearman & Sterling with Wilson Sonsini on US law aspects. Shearman’s Paris office previously advised the company on various bond issues.

SAP paid €42 (£29.32) per share in cash for Business Objects, representing a premium of 20 per cent on Business Objects’ closing share price on Friday (5 October).

Despite the approach being welcomed by Business Objects’ board, there are reports that SAP may be subject to a counter-bid, perhaps by software rival Oracle or giants IBM and Microsoft.

Deutsche Bank advised SAP while Business Objects turned to Goldman Sachs for financial advice.