The past year may not have been marked by a constant flow of deal activity, but there were still a number of prized mandates to be had.
The standout deal of the year was the $11bn (£7.05bn) flotation of mining trading company Glencore, which went live in May and was one of the biggest IPOs ever to hit the London market.
Clifford Chance capital markets partner Adrian Cartwright led the team acting for the banks, which included Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Credit Suisse.
Linklaters got the nod to act for the company, with corporate partners Charlie Jacobs and David Avery-Gee leading the advice.
The pair took a similar role in November for Russian steelmaker Evraz, which is part-owned by Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich and was valued at around £4.7bn after redomiciling in London.
On Evraz, the banks turned to US firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom for advice, with London-based corporate finance partner Jim McDonald leading.
May also saw former Liverpool FC chairman Sir Martin Broughton and betting chain Betfred put in rival tenders to bring bookmaker the Horserace Totalisator Board (the ’Tote’) into private hands.
Broughton’s Sports Investment Partners valued the state-owned target at £230m, while Betfred claimed its bid was worth £45m more.
Couchmans partner Satish Khandke advised Broughton, while Linklaters partner Mark Stamp was instructed by the Government to advise on the planned privatisation.
Ashurst partner David Carter acted for Broughton’s private equity backer Oakley Capital, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer represented Betfred, led by leisure group global head Christopher Mort.
Even Slaughter and May got involved, taking a smaller role advising the Tote, while Norton Rose advised Broughton on a planned quick-fire AIM flotation.
Betfred was the eventual victor, but the deal continued into September when the OFT mooted referring it to the Competition Commission. Freshfields competition partner
Simon Priddis was brought in to advise Betfred on competition aspects.
The plight of Southern Cross Healthcare hit the headlines in June, with Clifford Chance, Eversheds, Freshfields and Hogan Lovells all winning roles to help the carehome provider secure a rescue package that would prevent it going into administration.
Freshfields partners Simon Johnson and Adam Gallagher acted for Capita Asset Services, the special servicer to the £1.2bn of debt owed by Southern Cross’s largest landlord NHP.
Clifford Chance partner Nicholas Frome acted for Southern Cross. The firm advised Southern Cross’s former private equity owner Blackstone Group on its London Stock Exchange debut on 7 July 2006.
NHP turned to Eversheds insolvency partner Paul de la Pena, while Hogan Lovells restructuring partner Stephen Foster acted for Southern Cross’s lenders, which included Barclays and Lloyds TSB.
The travel company used the value of its Thomson and First Choice brands to help cut the cost of running the schemes.
Herbert Smith acted for TUI, with partners David Paterson on the corporate side and Roderick Morton on pensions. Pensions partner Mark Catchpole led the SH team representing the trustees of the Unijet and Air 2000 schemes.
The trustees of the TUI Travel and Jetsave schemes were advised by Camerons pensions partners Pete Coyne and Keith Webster. Linklaters acted for the trustees of the Britannia Airways and Orion schemes, led by pensions partner Isabel France, who was assisted by Carol Jones, a counsel in the pensions team, and associate Philip Goss.
October brought an audacious £5.2bn bid from G4S for cleaning and security group ISS. Although the deal was ultimately aborted, Herbert Smith, Norton Rose, Slaughters and Danish firm Bruun & Hjejle all won roles in the initial stages.
Slaughters advised ISS, fielding a team led by corporate partner Jeff Twentyman. Herbert Smith was lead adviser to UK security company G4S. The City firm’s team was led by global M&A co-head Stephen Wilkinson, with equity capital markets partner Chris Haynes and US securities partner Steve Thierbach advising on a proposed £2bn rights issue to fund the deal.
Bruun & Hjejle acted for G4S out of Copenhagen, fielding corporate partner Henning Aasmul-Olsen, while Norton Rose Brussels partner Mark Tricker advised G4S on competition aspects.
Other deals saw Addleshaw Goddard and Baker & McKenzie advise on the merger of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) with fellow real estate giant King Sturge, which created the UK’s – and Europe’s – largest commercial property consultancy.
Addleshaws professional practices group head William Wastie advised King Sturge, while Bakers corporate partner Helen Bradley acted for JLL.
Ashurst, Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), Dechert, Freshfields and PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal (PwC Legal) all won mandates on the £282.5m refinancing of hotel chain Malmaison’s debt.
The chain’s owner, MWB Group Holdings, instructed Dechert corporate partner Sean Geraghty; BLP corporate partner David McLeish and real estate partner David Battiscombe acted for Malmaison; PwC Legal banking head Penny Bruce acted for Malmaison on banking aspects; Freshfields banking partner Jeffrey Rubinoff advised RBS and Bank of Scotland; and Ashurst private equity partner David Carter advised RBS Investments and Riverland.
Allen & Overy (A&O) and Freshfields advised on CVC Capital Partners’ bid for zombie life assurance fund group Phoenix Group Holdings. Freshfields financial institutions partner Robert Stirling, who is the firm’s relationship partner for Phoenix, led on the mandate, along with corporate partner Jonathan Baird, while A&O acted for CVC.