Linklaters is celebrating after closing its first transaction for new client Somerfield.
The magic circle firm advised the supermarket group on the disposal of around 171 loss-making Kwik Save stores to Back to the Future, an acquisition vehicle launched by a consortium led by the chairman of the Peacock Group Richard Kirk. The disposal of the discount chain, which is for an undisclosed amount, closed last week.
Linklaters won Somerfield as a new client thanks to its role advising the Robert Tchenguiz-led consortium that bought the business last year. In addition to Tchenguiz, the purchasing consortium comprised Apax Partners and Barclays Capital. Corporate finance boutique Dickson Minto advised Somerfield on the protracted £1.1bn auction, which lasted seven months.
The Linklaters team was led by private equity partner Raymond McKeeve. Back to the Future was advised by North West firm DWF, led by corporate partner Paula Park. Meanwhile, Allen & Overy acted for Somerfield's lending banks.
As part of Somerfield's strategy, a further 77 Kwik Save stores will be sold to other trade purchasers, including, it is understood, Netto and Lidl, while 102 shops will be converted to the Somerfield fascia.
In a statement, Somerfield said: "The operation of Kwik Save alongside the core business has been unsuccessful and Kwik Save has incurred substantial losses."