Orrick and Slaughters advise as Venture rejects Centrica’s takeover bid

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Slaughter and May are advising as talks continue between Centrica and North Sea gas producer Venture Production.

British Gas owner Centrica increased its stake in Venture to 29.9 per cent on Monday after Venture rejected a 845p-a-share hostile takeover bid. Cetrica is reported to be considering a £1.1bn bid for the rest of the company.

Orrick corporate partner Hilary Winter is representing longstanding client Venture, having advised when Centrica bought a 22.3 per cent stake in Venture earlier this year (30 March 2009).

Aberdeen-based Venture has close links with Winter from her time at Jones Day. She joined Orrick in April 2008, bringing the client with her.

Centrica has turned to panel firm Slaughters with corporate partners Charles Randell (pictured) and John Papanichola leading the team.

Earlier this year Centrica bought a 20 per cent stake in nuclear energy group British Energy, advised by Linklaters partner Owen Clay.

Centrica bought the stake from EDF for £2.3bn. EDF was represented by Herbert Smith partner Mark Newbery, with support from M&A partner Simon Youdale and energy partners Julia Pyke and Jennifer Bell (11 May 2009).