Mayer Brown becomes easynet favourite after double acquisition

It has been a client of DLA, and more recently Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, but it is Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw that has picked up the latest corporate work for internet service provider (ISP) easynet, advising on two European acquisitions.

The first was the acquisition of the majority of the web-hosting assets and operations of German company Ision (part of the Energis group) from its administrators for €3.4m (£2.13m). Shortly afterwards, easynet acquired Dutch business ISP Wirehub! Internet for €6m (£3.76m).
Both deals were led by easynet company secretary Richard Croft, with corporate partner Richard Page leading the Mayer Brown team.

Easynet was originally a DLA client, but the work went to Skadden Arps around three years ago. Skadden advised easynet on its £475m merger with Marconi’s national broadband network provider ipsaris – a transaction that effectively gave Marconi a 72 per cent stake in easynet. It was this merger that led to Mayer Brown winning the recent work.

Both legacy Mayer Brown & Platt and legacy Rowe & Maw partners had previous relationships with Marconi – it was Marconi’s former in-house counsel Jeff Gordon who casually suggested a merger between the two firms in the first place. Historically, both firms had handled corporate work for Marconi, although it was Allen & Overy that advised it on the easynet merger, while ipsaris instructed Slaughter and May.

Croft, a qualified solicitor as well as company secretary, was previously company secretary at ipsaris. Page said: “We’re delighted to have received a number of instruction from easynet.”

Christof Gaudig of Mayer Brown’s cologne office advised on the German aspects of the Ision acquisition. Acting on the other side was a team led by Heiko Fialski of administrator Johlke Niethammer & Partner – a multidisciplinary partnership of lawyers, accountants, tax consultants and insolvency practitioners.

Page was assisted on the Wirehub! acquisition by corporate assistant Gary Cooper. Nauta Dutilh London-based partner Gijs Gerretsen advised on the Dutch aspects of the transaction.

Page recommended Nauta Dutilh to Croft for the deal. Prior to their merger, both Rowe & Maw and Mayer Brown had existing – although not exclusive – relationships with Nauta Dutilh.

Wirehub! was advised by Martijn Koopal of Schut Grosheide.