Freshfields and Travers bag roles on Close Brothers buy-out

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Travers Smith have landed key roles on the latest potential union of two City financial institutions.

Travers Smith is leading advice to stockbroker Cenkos, which last week made an indicative 950 pence-per-share offer for Close Brothers, valuing the investment bank at £1.4bn.

Head of corporate finance Spencer Summerfield is leading the team at Travers Smith, with corporate finance partner Philip Cheveley. Both worked on the 2006 AIM flotation of Cenkos.

Allen & Overy also landed a role advising Landsbanki, which made the offer with Cenkos. Corporate partner Andrew Schoorlemmer is leading advice.

Close Brothers, which has so far rebuffed Cenkos’ advances, has turned to Freshfields, which also has a historic relationship with the bank. Corporate partner David Sonter is leading the team.

This is just the latest in a string of financial institutions deals that Freshfields has netted in the last quarter.

The magic circle firm is advising Hugh Osmond’s Pearl Group in its £4.9bn battle for rival Resolution, which turned to Herbert Smith.

Freshfields is also lead corporate counsel to Northern Rock. Formal expressions of interest in the beleaguered mortgage lender have to be tendered by today (16 November).

Both those deals are being led at Freshfields by global co-head of the financial institutions group Will Lawes.