Herbert Smith scores West Ham takeover

Herbert Smith has advised West Ham United in its £105m takeover by an Iceland-based consortium led by Eggert Magnusson, president of the Icelandic Football Association (FA).

Herbert Smith corporate partner Stephen Wilkinson led the advice to West Ham United, its chairman Terry Brown and directors in a deal that sees the club valued at £85m while the consortium assumes £20m of debt.

Travers Smith, led by head of corporate finance Spencer Summerfield and fellow partner Philip Cheveley, advised WH Holding, the consortium which is reported to be offering 412p per share in cash.

Magnusson and the billionaire chairman of the Icelandic bank Landsbanki, Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, have the controlling interest in WH Holding. Gudmundsson is expected to provide the majority of the financial backing for the consortia.

Under the deal, Brown is to remain as an honorary life president and managing director Paul Aldridge will remain in place.

Magnusson is to assume the chairman role, stepping down from the presidency of the Iceland FA and from the Uefa executive committee. He has publicly stated his support for West Ham manager Alan Pardew.

The deal was finalised during a two-hour board meeting at Herbert Smith’s Exchange Square offices last night.