Cooking with gas

To ape one of those many Americanisms that will no doubt continue their slow insidious encroachments into our once great language, there’s a lot of energy in the City right now.

That doesn’t mean that we’ve got a bunch of wild-eyed, over-excited, shirt-sleeved management consultants giving each other boardroom high fives. No, it’s more about the fact that, for M&A activity, right now it’s all about the energy deals.

Hot on the heels of the “transformational” BP tie up with India’s Reliance Industries (see story) comes another major joint venture, this time involving Shell in Africa (see story).

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that A&O nabbed mandates on both deals. Bully for them, of course, but of potentially even more significance is Skadden’s part on the Africa job. The US firm is understood to have launched an African initiative in its London office recently with a view to winning more work on the continent. Looks like that’s paying off then.

As is Linklater’s renewed interest in one of its most-treasured clients – BP. After being rocked by news that Freshfields had been instructed by the oil giant on any potential takeover defence, Links has clutched BP firmly to its bosom once more – affection that has yielded two major instructions in the form of the Reliance JV and the £10bn tie-up with Rosneft last month (see story).

Just goes to show, oil’s well that ends well.

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