CC and Herbert Smith in tea deal

Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith have brought together tea giants Tata and Tetley following months of negotiations.

Henry Davey led the Herbert Smith team that acted for Bombay-based Tata, which made a £271m bid for Tetley. Davey says Tata has forbidden him from commenting on the deal.

Clifford Chance advised Tetley, with corporate finance partner and new London managing partner Peter Charlton at the helm.

Charlton was assisted by Joel Ziff and Brenda Moyland, with tax advice from assistant Clare McMath, and pensions input from Helen Mungeam.

Charlton, who has acted for Tetley since a management buy-in from Allied Domecq in 1995, said the sale was an emotional moment.

“I acted for the company in the buy-in and the aborted flotation two years ago so I have drunk quite a lot of tea with the Tetley people,” he says.

Also acting were Bombay firm Amarchand Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co, which drafted the sale and purchase agreements, and Travers Smith Braithwaite, which advised Tetley management.

The deal, which is believed to be the largest ever foreign acquisition by an Indian company, is subject to a number of conditions and funding is not yet in place.

Eighty per cent of Tetley shares are held by Schroder Ventures and PPM Ventures, the venture capital arm of financial services group Prudential.