Ashursts star in hostile double

Chris Ashworth (pictured right) is leading two Ashurst Morris Crisp teams advising on different hostile takeovers, together worth over £600m.

Corporate partner Ashworth is acting for lighting company TLG, the target of a £353m unsolicited takeover offer from manufacturing group Wassall. Ashworth's team also includes fellow corporate partner David Kershaw, employment partner Caroline Carter and employee benefits partner Paul Randall.

Last week Wassall's offer looked set to succeed following the withdrawal of a rival bid for TLG made by US company Cooper Industries.

At the same time Ashworth is also advising Henlys on its heated bid battle with Mayflower for bus manufacturer Dennis.

This looks to be a close run affair as Henlys' offer of a mixture of cash and its own shares – originally valued at £309m – has decreased in value following a fall in its share price and is now nearer to Mayflower's £255m all-cash offer.

The two takeovers bring the value of deals on which Ashworth has worked this year to over £2bn. Modestly describing 1998 as “fairly busy”, he said: “Hostile takeovers are probably the most enjoyable type of work that I do.”

“It's exciting because there are always changes as the bid progresses.”

Clifford Chance corporate partner Adam Signy is advising Wassall.