Linklaters secures Hutchison Essar acquisition for Vodafone

Linklaters has scored a victory for longstanding client Vodafone in its fierce battle to buy India’s fourth-largest mobile operator Hutchison Essar.

Linklaters corporate partner Iain Fenn led the team for Vodafone on its highly contested bid for the privately owned business.

The deal valued the Indian mobile operator at around $19bn (£9.77bn).

The battle for Hutchison Essar generated a new instruction for Herbert Smith, which scooped a role advising Essar on its $16bn (£8.23bn) bid for Hutchison Essar.

Hutchison, which owned the remaining 70 per cent stake in the mobile phone joint venture, was represented by longstanding adviser Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

The Freshfields team was led by London partner Perry Noble and corporate partner Rob Ashworth in Hong Kong.

Vodafone faced fierce competition from other Indian mobile operators, including Reliance Communications, India’s second-largest mobile operator.

Reliance was advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, with a team led by Paris-based partner Pierre-Yves Chabert on the corporate side and partner Andrew Shutter on the finance side.