Lloyds and Deutsche choose Links and Freshfields for Abbey Life

Lloyds TSB and Deutsche Bank took no chances in the latest consolidation in the financial institutions sector, by turning to their longstanding magic circle advisers.

Lloyds TSB instructed Linklaters and Deutsche turned to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer on the deal, which saw the German bank buy closed life fund Abbey Life from Lloyds TSB subsidiary Scottish Widows for £977m.

Under the terms of the deal, Scottish Widows will continue to manage Abbey Life’s funds for another 10 years.

Corporate partner Sundeep Kapila led the Freshfields team while at Linklaters, corporate partner Duncan Barber headed up advice.

Deutsche beat entrepreneur Hugh Osmond’s Pearl Group in bidding for Abbey Life. Pearl Group, which has concentrated on buying up closed life funds, has also built a stake in insurer Resolution, which has just agreed to a £8bn merger with Friends Provident – another deal in which Linklaters has taken a key advisory role, advising Friends Provident while Resolution turned to Herbert Smith.

Lehman and Morgan Stanley advised Lloyds TSB on the Abbey Life deal while Deutsche Bank’s own financial institutions group advised its global markets on the transaction.