William Hill bets on Ashurst for rights issue

Ashurst has secured a key instruction frm William Hill over its plan to raise £1.2bn in a rights issue and debt facility, alongside Allen & Overy (A&O) and ­Skadden ;Arps ;Slate Meagher & Flom.

Ashurst corporate partner Anthony Clare advised the gambling group, while ­Skadden capital markets partner James Healy acted for the underwriting banks on the £350m cash call.

A&O banking partner David Campbell represented the lending banks, which have agreed to provide funding worth £838.5m.

Ashurst won a place on William Hill’s new ­streamlined panel in June last year alongside Addleshaw Goddard and Pinsent Masons.

Ashurst was not on the panel prior to this review, which saw general counsel Thomas Murphy invite around 10 firms to tender before settling on just three.

Ashurst ;corporate ­partners Anthony Clare and Jonathan Earle acted for the bookmaker and betting shop chain last October when it acquired assets from AIM-listed ;online ;gaming ­software provider Playtech.

In 2005 the firm was on the other side of a deal, advising Stanley Leisure on the sale of its UK betting division to William Hill.

A number of companies have asked shareholders to provide extra capital
since January. Freshfields ­Bruckhaus Deringer advised British Land and Xstrata on capital raisings, with ­Linklaters advising the underwriters on both deals.