Freshfields advises Courtaulds Textiles

Freshfields has been chosen to advise UK giant Courtaulds Textiles on a £104m hostile bid by a US company.

US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges' London office is acting for Sara Lee, the foods and consumer products group that is bidding for the UK company.

Sara Lee is known for brands such as Douwe Egberts, Kiwi, Radox, Playtex, Pretty Polly and Wonderbra.

A spokesman for Courtaulds says Freshfields was chosen because it did a good job when instructed on previous deals.

The Freshfields team is made up of corporate partners Michael MacCabe and Nick Spearing, and corporate assistants James Wood and Louise Hiblin.

MacCabe refuses to comment on the details of the deal, but says he is pleased to have been picked to push it through.

The Weil Gotshal team is led by partners Mike Francies and Doug Nave. Their assistants are Bill Hutchings, Jennie Tomlins and Sarah Priestley.

Francies says: “It is nice to be involved in high profile deals. Courtaulds and Sara Lee are famous brands.”

It is thought that Courtaulds wants Sara Lee to double its bid. But Francies says the deal should go ahead as planned.

He adds: “I have heard no rumours of other bids from other companies.”

Guy Norman, a Clifford Chance corporate partner, is representing Sara Lee's financial advisers, investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Merchant bank Warburg Dillon Read's in-house legal team is also advising Courtaulds.

Courtalds also uses Warner Cranston in the UK for contractual issues and employment law issues.