Lovells has been appointed by French power and transport engineering group Alstom to work on a review of its Western European property portfolio, which could ultimately lead to a pan-European property outsourcing deal worth i1bn (£609.7m)
Investment bank Schroder Salomon Smith Barney has also been appointed by the group. The Lovells instruction came through a relationship between its Paris office and Alstom, as well as on the back of Lovells' UK expertise in property outsourcing deals. Lovells head of property Robert Kidby said: "It's going to be really exciting. It will be the first really pan-European deal. We're very pleased to be associated with it." Last year Lovells was involved in the proposed outsourcing of Ericsson's Euro-pean property portfolio, but the deal failed to materialise. Lovells has also just acted on its first deal for global ship power supplier Wärtsilä, advising on its £215m acquisition of the John Crane-Lips marine business from the Smiths Group. The instruction came after Allen & Overy was conflicted out because it was already acting for Smiths. Last year, Lovells advised TI Automotive Systems and its executive on the demerger of TI Division from Smiths. "The bankers were comfortable with us being involved, having just been through another deal with Smiths," said Lovells head of corporate Hugh Nineham. Lovells partner Richard Lewis led on the Wärtsilä deal, which is the first he has brought to signing since joining the firm from Clifford Chance late last year. Lewis's team was drawn from the firm's offices in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Paris and Tokyo and worked with Wärtsilä's local nominated advisers.