Freshfields and Linklaters scoop work on joint Babcock takeover

Linklaters scoop work on joint Babcock takeover” />Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters have secured lead advisory roles on a potential joint takeover bid for Babcock International.

The firms are acting for BAE Systems and VT Group respectively, which have been considering a joint bid for Babcock since mid-March.

Babcock shareholders have said they would consider an offer of £750m-plus – between 350p and 360p per share.

Freshfields has a longstanding relationship with BAE, while Linklaters has also represented VT Group in the past.

It is understood that Freshfields corporate partner Mark Rawlinson is leading the team acting for BAE, while corporate partner Richard Godden of Linklaters is advising VT. Both Rawlinson and Godden declined to comment.

Slaughter and May is the core legal adviser to FTSE100 client Babcock.

Babcock could be the latest in a line of major clients lost by Slaughters due to takeovers. During the past year the firm has lost Abbey and Exel after they were purchased by foreign companies. It also stands to lose BOC, which has been bought by Germany’s Linde for £8.2bn.

Talks have not yet led to a bid from VT and BAE.

A possible bid could see VT acquire Babcock’s services business and BAE take on its naval shipbuilding and support interests. VT could then sell its Portsmouth shipyard to BAE, leaving VT as a support services company and BAE owning the vast majority of the UK’s naval shipyards.

In a recent press statement, BAE said that several options were still being considered for the consolidation of UK naval shipbuilding, including the potential joint venture or an alliance with BAE, Babcock and VT’s shipyards.