SullCrom bags Olivant role on Northern Rock

Sullivan & Cromwell is the latest firm to be drafted in on the Northern Rock saga, with the New York M&A behemoth advising investment group Olivant on the potential purchase of a minority stake in the beleaguered mortgage lender.

Olivant announced a rescue package to the London Stock Exchange this morning (12 November) that would involve its founder and City veteran Luqman Arnold working alongside the bank’s current management, together with the investment group taking a minority stake in the bank.

Olivant said in its statement that it would not be making an offer for Northern Rock’s shares.

Sullivan is leading advice out of its London office with corporate partner Tim Emmerson and corporate finance partner Vanessa Blackmore heading the team. Emmerson joined Sullivan earlier this year from fellow US firm Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy.

Emmerson was also previously at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which is advising Northern Rock on corporate issues.

Separately, the magic circle firm’s former chief operating officer, Kirk Stephenson, is also a director at Olivant. His colleague Arnold is best known for chairing Abbey National during its sale to Banco Santander in 2004.

Olivant is one of several parties interested in either bidding outright for Northern Rock or parts of it.

Other parties mooting a bid for Northern Rock include JC Flowers, advised by Herbert Smith; Cerberus, which has turned to Ashurst; and a consortium led by the Virgin Group, advised by Allen & Overy.

They have until this Friday (16 November) to submit their bids.