Herbies secures major Indian telecoms work

Herbert Smith has furthered its strategic push into both the Asian and communications markets with the completion of its largest transaction to date for key Indian client the Tata Group.

Head of international communications Nick Elverston and senior consultant Nimi Patel led the team advising Indian telecommunications giant Videsh Sanchar Nigam (VSNL) on the non-US aspects of its $130m (£73.4m) acquisition of Tyco Global Network (TGN). Tata, which is a longstanding client of Herbert Smith, is the largest single shareholder in VSNL.

The deal gives VSNL control over TGN’s 60,000km submarine cable systems, spanning three continents. It is the largest transaction completed by Herbert Smith for both Tata and VSNL to date and is also the first major transaction completed by Elverston since he joined the firm from Clifford Chance last September.

Elverston said the acquisition was “indicative of the resurgence in the international communications sector” and followed the firm’s push into the Indian and communications markets.

US aspects of the deal were handled by US law firm Kelley Drye & Warren. Merrill Lynch acted as financial adviser to VSNL, while White & Case and Goldman Sachs advised TGN.