Linklaters and A&O wade into Med for BES sale

Linklaters and Allen & Overy (A&O) have become the latest international firms to play a defining role in the reshaping of Europe’s banking sector, advising on the rescue of Portugal’s beleaguered Banco Espirito Santo

Linklaters and Allen & Overy (A&O) have become the latest international firms to play a defining role in the reshaping of Europe’s banking sector, advising on the rescue of Portugal’s beleaguered Banco Espirito Santo.

Natalie pic
Natalie Stanton

The bulk of the bank’s assets and liabilities were transferred into successor bank Novo Banco. And now there are rumours that a couple of Spanish banks are looking to invest. It’s thought Caixabank and Banco Santander could be interested in stepping forward. Both are likely licking their wounds, having missed out on picking up the remnants of Catalunya Banc, which was sold to BBVA for €1.2bn at the end of July.

Santander has previously had close ties to Slaughter and May, while Caixabank has turned to Uría Menéndez on big M&A deals in the past. Whether or not they invest, it looks as if the European banking space will continue to keep M&A lawyers busy over the summer break.

Meanwhile, concerns about a US crackdown on tax inversion are amplifying following Walgreens’ decision not to switch its HQ to Switzerland in the wake of its £5.6bn acquisition of its remaining stake in Alliance Boots.

Wachtell Lipton and A&O scooped key roles for Walgreens on the deal, while Simpson Thacher advised Alliance Boots’ private equity owner KKR on the game-changing transaction.

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