Herbies, Stibbe, A&O, Simmons secure landmark Euronext listing

Allen & Overy

(A&O), Herbert Smith with alliance firm Stibbe and Simmons & Simmons have all landed roles on the innovative listing of a closed-end company on Euronext, which hopes to raise EURO1.5bn (£1.01bn) to make it the largest IPO of a hedge fund on the Dutch bourse.

Marshall Wace, the London-based hedge fund manager, is creating a new Guernsey-based closed-end fund, which will be chaired by former deputy general of the Bank of England Sir Andrew Large. It is listing on Euronext because London does not currently permit listings of single-manager hedge funds, although it is expected that position will change by next year.

Herbert Smith and Stibbe are advising the new company MW Tops, with corporate partners Nigel Farr and Greg Mulley leading the Herbert Smith team, and Stibbe’s London-based corporate partner Derk Lemstra advising on the Dutch aspects.

Their instruction came via a referral from Deutsche Bank, one of the joint coordinators. Farr said: “They knew we were good at funds and good at capital markets work.”

The joint effort between Herbert Smith and Stibbe comes after the City firm won its first work from CVC Capital Partners through Stibbe, as first reported by The Lawyer (23 October).

Simmons is advising Marshall Wace as the manager, with finance partner Steven Whittaker leading.

Corporate finance partner Mark Dighero is leading the team at A&O, advising underwriters Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and UBS. Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch will each subscribe to just less than 10 per cent of MW Tops to gain access for their private clients to investment shares.