Global quartet hired for €1.9bn Japanese purchase of Dutch asset manager

Dutch firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Linklaters have played lead roles on Japanese financial services firm ORIX Corporation’s €1.9bn (£1.25bn) acquisition of Dutch asset manager Robeco Groep from Rabobank.

The Japanese buyer engaged Linklaters as lead counsel for the deal, which is ORIX’s most significant acquisition to date. The Linklaters team involved lawyers from the firm’s Tokyo, Amsterdam, London, New York, Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt and Hong Kong offices and was led by corporate partners Hiroya Yamazaki in Tokyo, Pieter Riemer in Amsterdam and David Holdsworth in London.

Rabobank instructed longstanding adviser De Brauw for this transaction, with Amsterdam-based corporate partners Arne Grimme and Gaby Smeenk leading its team.

As the global transaction requires regulatory filings and merger clearances in a range of jurisdictions, De Brauw also engaged a number of firms to handle local filings.

Among the firms involved, US firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, led by New York corporate partner Gregory Rowland, and Japanese firm Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, led by Tokyo-partner Taro Tsunoda, played key roles.

Background to this deal:

ORIX’s acquisition is the second major Japanese mandate Linklaters has won since last July. The magic circle firm advised Japanese advertising powerhouse Dentsu on its £3.2bn acquisition of UK rival Aegis Group last year (12 July 2012). Holdsworth was also the lead partner in that deal. He spent time as a partner in Tokyo in 2010 and now oversees the firm’s outbound Japanese practice.

Prior to the ORIX transaction, De Brauw advised Rabobank on several other M&A transactions, including advising the bank on its acquisition of Dutch lender Friesland Bank in April 2012. Grimme is the firm’s main relationship partner with the bank.