Linklaters joins Iberian firms for $14bn Portugal Telecom battle

Seven of Iberia’s top law firms have found a place on one of Europe’s biggest ever M&A battles, advising the parties in Sonae’s $14bn bid for Portugal Telecom.

Portugal Telecom has enlisted the help of four separate firms as it considers using defensive measures to avoid the takeover.

Portugal Telecom’s main legal adviser, Vieira de Almeida, is joined by fellow Portuguese independent firm PLMJ. The mandate has also brought the Portuguese arms of Spanish rivals Garrigues and Cuatrecasas to the same table.

Sonae is using top Portuguese firm Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados.

Linklaters has bagged a role acting for Banco Santander Centro Hispano, which is advising on the transaction.

Portugal Telecom’s largest shareholder, Telefonica, is using relationship firm Uria & Menendez.

The board of Portugal Telecom will meet over the next few days to discuss Sonae’s bid. Two shareholder meetings will then be scheduled over the next eight weeks to discuss further action.

Sonae is the parent company of many separate businesses, and has interests in the retail and telecommunications industries.