Debevoise scoops role on Italtel float despite lack of Italian base

Debevoise & Plimpton

has scooped a plum role on the latest IPO to hit the Italian market, despite having no presence in the region.

Telecommunications equipment manufacturer Italtel confirmed
its listing on the Milan Stock Exchange earlier this month in a deal that could value the company at up to €2bn (£1.32bn). It is expected that the float will take place in the autumn.

The US firm secured the instruction through private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), a longstanding client which is now seeking an exit from its investment. London partners Jim Kiernan and Kate Ashton are leading the team for Debevoise, which advised CD&R on the acquisition in 2000 of a 49 per cent stake in Italtel.

Gianni Origoni Grippo & Partners is acting alongside the US firm, led by partner Antonio Segni.

Italtel has appointed Lazard to advise on the planned listing, while Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and UBM, the investment banking arm of UniCredit Banca Mobiliare, have been appointed as joint coordinators on the IPO.

Chiomenti Studio Legale, led by partner Federico Giordano, is advising the banks, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, led by Milan partner Carlo Kostka, is advising on the international aspects of the deal. The appointment marks the second recent IPO on which Freshfields has won the bank role, with the firm acting for Goldman Sachs on the Terna IPO in June.

Italtel’s proposed float is another signal of renewed life for listings in Milan, following on from June’s £1.7bn float of a 50 per cent stake in Terna, the electricity transmission network owned by Italian state utility operator Enel. The deal saw Italian powerhouse Bonelli Erede Pappalardo and Cravath Swaine & Moore in the lead roles. Elsewhere, Italian shoemaker Geox is also tipped to float by the end of the year.