Telecoms work sparks deals hike

It will come as a surprise to many that announced first quarter deals for Europe were up a staggering 54 per cent on the first quarter of last year, according to the Thomson Financial tables released last week. However, deals completed in the same period were 20 per cent lower than this time last year.

The increase on announced deals, based on European targets with any acquirer nation, was largely attributable to the continued telecoms and energy consolidation, in particular Olivetti’s $28.6bn (£18.25bn) plans to acquire the remaining interest in Telecom Italia and Gas Natural’s hostile bid for Iberdrola of Spain for $29m (£18.5m).

The Olivetti deal saw Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Bonelli Erede Pappalardo and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom catapulted into four of the top five places.

Linklaters took the number one spot in terms of value and number of deals announced, but the other magic circle firms were some way behind. In terms of value, Allen & Overy dropped from second to tenth place, Clifford Chance fell from third to eighth, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer dropped from ninth to thirteenth.

Slaughter and May fell 15 to 21st place, with its value of announced deals dropping from $17.23bn (£10.99bn) to just $3.42bn (£2.18bn). However, not included in the tables are some of the firm’s more high-profile work such as the Safeway and 6 Continents bids.

Jones Day Gouldens jumped to ninth place following the merger. Head of corporate Hilary Winter attributed the placing to a few high-value deals, as well as a good deal flow. The firm was fourth in terms of number of deals on which it advised.

The table for deals completed makes for quite different reading. In this table Linklaters, Clifford Chance and Freshfields take first, second and third place respectively, with A&O holding the seventh spot that it had this time last year.

All, however, were significantly down on last year in terms of value. Slaughters failed to break into the top 25.

Top 25 firms based on deals with European target, any acquirer nation
1/1/03-31/3/03 1/1/03-31/3/03 Change in rank value (%)
Adviser Rank Rank value $bn (£bn) Market share Number of deals Rank Rank value $bn (£bn)
Linklaters 1 60.48 (38.59) 37.9 53 1 44.33 (28.28) 36.4
Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson 2 35.65 (22.75) 22.3 3 41 0.96 (0.61) 3,614.7
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo 3 32.90 (20.99) 20.6 13 36 1.08 (0.69) 2,952.2
Davis Polk & Wardwell 4 32.61 (20.81) 20.4 5 17 6.69 (4.27) 387.3
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom 5 30.89 (19.71) 19.4 5 10 11.76 (7.50) 162.7
Suarez de Lezo & Asociados 6 29.74 (18.98) 18.6 1
Chiomenti Studio Legale 7 29.20 (18.63) 18.3 3
Clifford Chance 8 27.88 (17.79) 17.5 40 3 21.58 (13.77) 29.2
Jones Day 9 18.23 (11.63) 11.4 37 53 0.56 (0.36) 3,132.7
Allen & Overy 10 13.57 (8.66) 8.5 39 2 28.60 (18.25) -52.6
Herbert Smith/Gleiss Lutz/Stibbe 11 13.16 (8.40) 8.3 22 21 3.43 (2.19) 283.8
Ashurst Morris Crisp 12 12.61 (8.05) 7.9 16 8 14.07 (8.98) -10.3
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 13 11.44 (7.30) 7.2 25 9 12.34 (7.87) -7.3
CMS Cameron McKenna 14 9.07 (5.79) 5.7 24 18 6.57 (4.19) 38.2
Shearman & Sterling 15 8.93 (5.70) 5.6 7 4 20.37 (13.00) -56.1
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek 16 7.03 (4.49) 4.4 1
Weil Gotshal & Manges 17 6.34 (4.05) 4.0 13 16 8.32 (5.31) -23.8
Norton Rose 18 6.10 (3.89) 3.8 5 54 0.53 (0.34) 1,059.3
Travers Smith Braithwaite 19 5.92 (3.78) 3.7 6 60 0.33 (0.21) 1,691.3
Simmons & Simmons 20 3.43 (2.19) 2.2 11 22 3.08 (1.97) 11.6
Slaughter and May 21 3.42 (2.18) 2.2 16 6 17.23 (10.99) -80.1
Niederer Kraft & Frey 22 3.34 (2.13) 2.1 4
Hengeler Mueller 23 3.02 (1.93) 1.9 9 5 17.52 (11.18) -82.8
Lenz & Staehelin 24 2.74 (1.75) 1.7 4
White & Case 25 2.61 (1.67) 1.6 10 7 14.66 (9.53) -82.2
Source: Thomson Financial