Freshfields, links get active on sports float

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters have reaffirmed their positions as market leaders for London Stock Exchange (LSE) listings after securing roles on the Sports Direct International float. The retail sports company, which owns Sports World, Sports Direct, Original Shoe Company and Lilywhites, announced its LSE flotation last week. The firms are acting on an IPO of its shares, with founder Mike Ashley expected to make up to £900m. Freshfields, led by corporate partner Chris Mort, is advising Sports Direct International, while Linklaters is understood to be acting for the banks. Sports Direct International’s market value could be around £2bn after shares were priced between 250p and 310p. In October 2006 Linklaters advised Peruvian silver miner Hochschild Mining on its proposed IPO and listing on the LSE, while Freshfields acted for the banks.