CC takes M&A crown from rival

Clifford Chance

has scored a triple victory after topping the European M&A league tables published by Bloomberg, Thomson Financial and Mergermarket for announced deals.

As first reported on www.thelawyer.com last Monday (4 July), Clifford Chance knocked magic circle rival Linklaters from the number one spot in the Thomson Financial second-quarter M&A league table for announced deals, after advising on 130 deals totalling $103bn (£59.2m).

Meanwhile, according to statistics published by Bloomberg, Clifford Chance jumped from number three to take the number one spot in the league tables for announced cross-border M&A deals, ranking ahead of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Sullivan & Cromwell, which came second and third respectively.

Recent deals for Clifford Chance in the first six months of 2005 include advising Barclays Bank on its £29bn recommended acquisition for a majority stake in South African bank ABSA, as well as acting for Macquarie Capital Alliance Group on its acquisition of the Yellow Brick Road Group for E1.8bn (£1.2bn).

Linklaters has slipped to third place in the Thomson Financial rankings, putting it behind Freshfields, which has moved up from fourth place to take the number two spot. According to Thomson Financial, Freshfields, which recently landed the mandate to advise UniCredito Italiano’s landmark E15.4bn (£10.5bn) bid for German bank HypoVereinsbank, advised on 85 deals totalling $92.7bn (£52.8bn). Linklaters advised on 112 deals totalling $73.1bn (£41.7bn).

Lovells’ performance in the league tables has been lacklustre, despite its private equity practice in all parts of Europe having its best six months ever. According to the Thomson Financial statistics, although the top 10 City firm moved up five places in the table for announced deals, it only managed 21st place and failed to make it into the table for completed deals.

According to the Thomson figures, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, which have also secured roles on the UniCredito-HypoVereinsbank merger, are the US firms with highest rankings. Most notably, Cleary, which is advising HypoVereinsbank, jumped up from nineteenth position to sixth. Meanwhile, Skadden, the adviser to Citigroup, moved up two places to number seven.

Herbert Smith and its alliance partners Gleiss Lutz and Stibbe have jumped eight places to take the top spot in Thomson Financial’s UK tables after advising on 27 deals totalling $46.6bn (£26.8bn). Macfarlanes‘ role advising longstanding client Pernod Ricard on its £7bn bid for Allied Domecq has helped it jump an impressive 30 places to move into the top 10.

US firms, meanwhile, have continued to dominate the worldwide tables for both announced and completed deals. According to the Thomson Financial data, US firms accounted for eight of the top 10 firms, based on the value of announced deals worldwide, in the first half of 2005. Cleary earned the top spot in the announced table with 67 deals totalling $209.9bn (£120.7bn).

The only UK firms to secure spots in the top 10 for announced deals were Clifford Chance and Freshfields.

Table: European M&A – announced deals