Linklaters seizes FTSE client as SA giant relists in London

Linklaters is to gain a major FTSE-100 client when South African mining giant Anglo American makes its £6bn relisting on the London Stock Exchange.

The firm is taking on one of the biggest ever UK listings – a job that will take its 10-strong team about five months to complete and earn the firm about £1m in time-billed fees.

After the listing is completed, Anglo American is expected to use the extra capital it can raise in the London equity markets to pursue its expansion plans.

“We sincerely hope we will continue our close relationship with the company,” said David Cheyne, Linklaters' head of corporate who is leading the relisting team.

Others in the team include corporate partners Michael Sullivan and Jeremy Marriage and tax partners Mark Kingstone and Ian Bowler.

Anglo's move to London follows that of South African metals giant Billiton, which spun off from Gencor last year. It is expected to encourage a flood of other South African companies seeking extra liquidity on the London market.

Anglo intends to relocate its headquarters and primary listing to the UK, where it already has a secondary listing. Its shares will continue to be traded on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Johannesburg-based Webber Wentzel Bowen, South Africa's biggest corporate firm, is handling the South African legal work and is likely to work alongside Linklaters on a Companies Act scheme arrangement to restructure shareholdings in Anglo. Webber has acted for Anglo since 1917.

“There are significant structural aspects that have to take place here,” said partner Ed Southey in Johannesburg.

US firm Shearman & Sterling is expected to handle US and South American matters.