Herbies alliance partners advise £1.2bn ICI sale

Alliance firms Herbert Smith, Gleiss Lutz and Stibbe have landed key roles advising on the latest mammoth M&A deal – Swiss company Givaudan’s £1.2bn acquisition of chemical group ICI’s flavours and fragrance business.

The alliance firms advised longstanding Gleiss Lutz client Givaudan, fielding a team headed by Herbert Smith corporate partner Michael Shaw.

Stibbe’s London-based head of capital markets Derk Lemstra advised on Dutch aspects, with Gleiss Lutz’s competition partner Ulrich Denzel completing the alliance team.

US firm Davis Polk & Wardwell also assisted on US aspects. Employment partner Barbara Nims, environmental partner Gail Flesher and M&A partner Peter Douglas advised on the deal.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was, meanwhile, instructed by longstanding client ICI, with corporate partner Martin Taylor leading the magic circle team.

The deal also involves a CHF2.8bn (£1.2bn) term loan faciltiy provided by Citibank, which instructed Linklaters.

ICI received roughly £300m more than it had hoped for its Dutch-based fragrance business Quest and the windfall leaves the company debt free. ICI said it would use £900m of the sale price to pay off its debts and £230m to narrow its pensions deficit.