Weil beats Ashurst, Lovells to Terra Firma’s Alliance Boots bid

Weil Gotshal & Manges has won a stunning first instruction from private equity house Terra Firma on its joint bid with Wellcome Trust to acquire Alliance Boots for more than £10bn.

Terra Firma advisers Ashurst and Lovells have missed out this time. A Weil team led by Marco Compagnoni will advise the firm as part of the consortium that launched a challenging bid for the company, rivalling private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

Compagnoni acted for the private equity house during his time at Lovells.

Wellcome Trust, which issued the first-ever bond from a charity in June 2006, has turned to a CMS Cameron McKenna team led by partner Niall McAllister. The role is a coup for Camerons, which is not often seen on multibillion-pound M&A deals involving FTSE100 companies.

The approach by Terra Firma’s head Guy Hands was not taken seriously until it was announced that the private equity house had appointed advisers Lehman Brothers.

Terra Firma and Weil were both unavailable for comment.