Magic circle muscles in on $52bn InBev deal

A trio of magic circle firms has scored plum roles on the financing of InBev’s acquisition of Budweiser producer Anheuser-Busch.


A trio of magic circle firms has scored plum roles on the financing of InBev’s $52bn (£26.12bn) acquisition of US drinks company Anheuser-Busch, producer of Budweiser beer.

Allen & Overy (A&O) secured bank mandates advising BNP Paribas, Deutsche and JPMorgan on Anheuser-Busch’s financing. London partner Melissa Samuel led the firm’s team.

Clifford Chance London partner Rod McGillivray led the firm advising InBev on the debt side of the deal while Linklaters Belgium partner Francois De Bauw with counsel Gilles Nejman advised the drinks company on equity financing and local securities issues.

Elsewhere, the deal has generated work for a significant roster of US firms. Latham & Watkins New York partner Chuck Nathan advised longstanding client Goldman Sachs on the financing for Anheuser-Busch while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett partner John Finley advised the Anheuser-Busch board.

The deal was agreed last weekend after a month-long battle launched with a hostile bid from Belgium’s InBev in June.

Earlier this month (16 June), The Lawyer reported that Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom partners Paul Schnell and Tom Greenberg were advising Anheuser-Busch while Sullivan & Cromwell partner Frank Aquila led the firm advising longstanding client InBev.

The deal, announced yesterday (14 July), is the largest US acquisition this year. The combined company, which is to be known as Anheuser-Busch InBev, will become one of the world’s five-largest consumer products companies, bringing together brands such as Budweiser with InBev’s Stella Artois.

The deal underscores both Skadden and Sullivan & Cromwell’s prowess in the US M&A market. Yesterday, The Lawyer reported that Skadden had topped the Thomson Reuters M&A tables for worldwide announced deals in the first half of 2008, advising on transactions worth more than $246bn (£123.58bn).