Latham bags Germany’s biggest IPO

Latham & Watkins has scooped a lead role on Germany’s largest IPO so far this year, with its first piece of major corporate work for telecoms company Versatel.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom advised Apax as selling shareholder in the €829m (£565.8m) flotation, with Holme Roberts & Owen’s Munich office advising on some German-law aspects.

Apax had bought the German arm of Versatel in October 2005 for £389.1m from Swedish owner Tele2, which marked Skadden’s first work for Apax. Apax then merged it with Tropolys last year.

Allen & Overy also won a key role on the IPO, advising Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan as the joint bookrunners.

Corporate partner Roland Maaß led the team for Latham out of Frankfurt, with corporate finance partner Olof Clausson in London. Although the firm had acted on the company’s refinancing last year, the IPO is the first major corporate instruction Latham has won from Versatel. It netted the role through a competitive tender.

Maaß told The Lawyer: “It’s a very competitive and regulated industry, plus the company has been acquiring companies recently, which complicated things.”