While 2012 may have been a flat year for many M&A lawyers, it kept Linklaters’ corporate partner Iain Wagstaff extremely busy working on several large scale, cross-border transactions.
Wagstaff’s involvement in advising French power giant GDF SUEZ on a series of major transactions is worth highlighting. The beginning of the year saw him closing the disposal of GDF SUEZ’s interests in the Elgin Franklin fields in the Norton Sea to Total and helping the same client sell a 30 per cent interest in its exploration and production division to China Investment Corporation (CIC). The two transactions had a combined value of around €3bn (£2.4bn).
Shortly after the disposals, Wagstaff led the UK legal team on GDF SUEZ’s bid for the remaining 30 per cent stake of UK energy group International Power. The £6.8bn deal was one of the largest cash bids in the UK market last year, and followed GDF SUEZ’s £17.1bn acquisition of a controlling 70 per cent stake in 2010/2011, which Wagstaff also advised on.
The second half of the year was equally busy for Wagstaff. He acted as the co-leading partner advising China National Gold on its consideration of bidding for UK-listed African Barrick Gold. He also advised Siemens on its £1.7bn acquisition of UK engineering group Invensys’s rail division. The Siemens deal is the largest acquisition by the German technology giant in five years and Linklaters’ first significant M&A mandate with the client.
Wagstaff, who was made up to partner in 2010, has built up a solid track record in public M&A arena, particularly in the energy and natural resources sectors. It’s remarkable considering it was achieved in a relatively short span of time.