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Freshfields rejects Nasdaq’s LSE takeover proposal
The latest instalment in the soap opera that has become the plight of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) is a cliffhanger. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has taken the lead role in advising Nasdaq on its £4.2bn informal cash bid for the LSE. The LSE, represented by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Graham Nicholson (pictured), immediately rejected the offer on the grounds that it “substantially undervalues the company”. But the rejection statement was not as harsh on Nasdaq as the LSE was on Macquarie Bank, which walked away from its hostile bid just weeks ago, with its lead legal adviser Helen Bradley from Baker & McKenzie conceding defeat. Nasdaq’s offer came just days after its rival, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) started trading as a public company. The NYSE is represented by Manhattan firm Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. The Skadden team is being led by New York corporate partner Eric Friedman and London-based corporate partner Michael Hatchard.

HMV uses Freshfields for Permira knock-back
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has gone into defence mode again for the HMV Group, which has rejected a second bid approach from Permira. The struggling retailer made headlines last month when it appointed Freshfields over chief legal adviser Simmons & Simmons for the role. Freshfields was offered the instruction after private equity house Permira made a preliminary bid approach. HMV has since received a second bid valued at £847m, or 210p per share. Freshfields corporate partner Edward Braham is understood to be leading the team. It is understood that Clifford Chance is acting for Permira. Despite being 20p more than Permira’s previous bid, HMV rejected the offer on the grounds that it undervalued the company. HMV issued a profit warning in January, just weeks before chief executive Alan Giles announced plans to resign at the end of the year.