Last year's £9.8bn merger of Grand Metropolitan and Guinness to form Diageo also resulted in a bonanza for other lawyers this year when the European Commission and the Federal Trade Commission ruled that Diageo was required to dispose of the Dewars Scotch and Bombay Gin brands. After a rapid auction, Diageo sold the brands for £1.5bn to Bacardi.
Partner Hilary Prescott of the London office of Washington-based Covington & Burling led a team of 22 lawyers from both London and Washington which acted for Bacardi, with assistance from Roger Walsom, Jeremy B Sheldon and Louise Krosch at Ashurst Morris Crisp, and – on the Scottish property aspects – the captive Scottish law firm of Arthur Andersen, Dundas & Wilson. Mike Lefever of Covington & Burling's Washington office also advised on the financing aspects of the acquisition, which were arranged and syndicated by Goldman Sachs.
Diageo was represented by Sullivan & Cromwell.