Freshfields top in privatisations

Freshfields is leading the field among City firms on privatisations globally, according to new figures.

The firm was the top UK-based firms by value and number of transactions last year, acting on 60 closed deals worth a total of more than $25bn.

Freshfields heads the table outright on western European transactions by value. Among its big European privatisations last year was the $675m acquisition by Greek telephone operator OTE of a 35 per cent stake in Romanian Telecom, and the 310bn peseta privatisation of Tabacalera, the Spanish tobacco company.

Christopher Mort, a partner in the firm's corporate department, says: “The range of countries we covered last year was very encouraging. Things have been quiet in Russia and Asia following the Russian crisis, but it has been a busy year in western Europe.”

Simmons & Simmons is the next-placed UK firm by value, with Clifford Chance the only other UK-based firm in the top 10, in tables compiled by Privatisation International.