Nasdaq LSE bid frustrated by Freshfields and Cravath

The transatlantic team of lawyers made up by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Cravath Swaine & Moore has seen off a second attack by Nasdaq on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in a year.

Last Saturday (10 February) marked the expiration of Nasdaq’s £2.7bn bid. The American bourse, advised by Allen & Overy (A&O) and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, announced that it had failed to win the support of the LSE’s investors.

Nasdaq still holds a 29 per cent stake in the LSE, however, which could frustrate potential future bids.

A Freshfields team led by corporate partners David Higgins and Graham Nicholson advised the LSE, with support from competition partner Deirdre Trapp and corporate partner Andrew Hutchings. Cravath’s team, advising on US aspects, was led by corporate partners Philip Gelston and Sarkis Jebejian.

Meanwhile, A&O corporate partners Alan Paul and Ian Lopez headed the team for Nasdaq, together with Skadden corporate partners Michael Hatchard and Eric Friedman.

As first reported in The Lawyer (21 November 2006), New York firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel represented Bank of America and Dresdner Kleinwort Securities in financing the Nasdaq bid, which comprised $3.32bn (£1.74bn) of credit agreements, a $1.75bn (£920m) bridge loan and $775m (£407m) purchase of preferred stock from Nasdaq. Banking partners Jim Clark and Luis Penalver led the team.

Nasdaq’s financial adviser was Greenhill, represented by Baker & McKenzie with a team headed by corporate partner Helen Bradley.