Denton Wilde Sapte and TLT Solicitors have secured lead roles on Virgin Money’s first venture into the banking sector through its offer to buy private bank Church House Trust.
A Dentons team led by joint head of corporate Jeremy Cohen and financial regulation partner Rosali Pretorius acted for Virgin on the transaction, worth around £50m in a combination of existing equity and a proposed capital injection.
TLT advised the Yeovil-based target company. Its team was led by corporate finance partner Richard Tall and featured lawyers from across its corporate and employment groups.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has already given the deal the green light. The acquisition is seen as a precursor to a bigger move by Richard Branson’s group into retail banking following a failed attempt to buy Northern Rock in 2008.
Tall commented: “The deal threw up a number of complex technical issues, but it’s satisfying to see the offer now made and FSA change of control being given to Virgin Money.”
Church House Trust was founded in 1987 by partners at South West firm Battens. David Batten and Graham Hughes, both non-executive directors at the firm, are expected to retain their places on the bank’s management team.