GdF picks Darrois and Freshfields ahead of Cleary on £44bn Suez deal

French corporate powerhouses Bredin Prat and Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, alongside Linklaters and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, have bagged the work on the merger between energy giants Gaz de France (GdF) and Suez.

The Lawyer understands that Darrois corporate partner François Sureau is advising GdF, with Freshfields giving antitrust advice. Linklaters’ Marc Loy is acting for Suez, together with a team from Bredin Prat.

Although both Darrois and Freshfields have acted for GdF in the past, the instructions will be a blow to Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, which advised the company on its partial privatisation last year.

Gide Loyrette Nouel is representing the French government on the deal. The firm acted for the state on the IPOs of GdF, Electricité de France and the French motorway system in 2005.

The merger was approved by the GdF and Suez boards yesterday (26 February) will create an energy company with revenues of EUR64bn (£43.6bn). It comes after speculation over a potential hostile takeover of Suez by Italian electricity company Enel.