This was a complicated deal for Allen & Overy‘s (A&O) long-term client Smiths Group which follows its £4.5bn merger last year with TI Group. At the time of that deal Smiths did not want the Automotive Systems Division of TI Group to be part of the merger, and TI Group was already trying to sell it.
It was agreed that the sale process would continue and that the sale proceeds would be divided between Smiths and the former TI Group shareholders. But because of a US downturn in the automotive business, offers for the division have been less than expected and Smiths decided on a demerger instead.
The new company is partly owned by Smiths, the former TI Group shareholders and the management, effectively making this a management buyout.
A&O’s client relationship partner for Smiths David Wootton led the deal.