Herbert Smith in £36.5bn Olivetti bid

Herbert Smith is advising Olivetti on the biggest European debt financing ever as the computer giant prepares its audacious bid to buy Telecom Italia.

The firm is working with Italian firm Erede & Associates in advising Olivetti on raising funds for its £36.5bn takeover of the Italian telecommunications giant, which is five times its size.

Herbert Smith is advising on a £15bn-plus syndicated loan. The firm is understood to have fought off competition from Freshfields for the deal.

The firm's appointment comes just a week after The Lawyer revealed that Erede & Associates senior partner Sergio Erede is also a director of Wang Global, in which Olivetti has an 18.5 per cent stake. Chris Parsons, head of Herbert Smith's Italian practice group, denies that this creates conflict of interest.

He says: “We are extremely pleased to be advising on Italy's biggest ever public bid.”