Cleary, Slaughters act on Diageo’s Mey Icki purchase

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Slaughter and May took the leading advisory roles on Diageo’s £1.3bn acquisition of ­Turkish spirits producer Mey Icki last week.

The target, Turkey’s largest spirits company with net sales of £300m, was previously owned by private equity houses TPG Capital and Actera.

Slaughters acted for ­longstanding client Diageo, with a team featuring corporate partner Kathy Hughes, tax partner Steve Edge, Brussels competition partner John Boyce and IP partner Susie Middlemiss.

The private equity sellers turned to Cleary for advice. The team was led by London corporate partners Simon Jay and Sam Bagot, with tax partner Richard Sultman and antitrust ­partner Romina Polley also featuring. Local advice came from Turkish firm Hergüner Bilgen Özeke, with partner Itir Sevim-Çiftçi leading.

TPG had been considering an IPO for part of the business slated for later this year, with Cleary capital ­markets partner Sebastian Sperber working on the ­proposed flotation. Ultimately, however, the owners plumped for Diageo’s offer.

Cleary is known to have a close relationship with TPG, although then the house has used several counsel in recent years, including Ropes & Gray, which, alongside Goldman Sachs business PIA, advised on its purchase of Belgian manufacturer Ontex last year.

Slaughters has been Diageo’s go-to adviser for UK deals for some time, while Sullivan & Cromwell has more recently emerged from a group of firms to become the drinks giants preferred US counsel.