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Norton Rose and Slaughter and May have bagged advisory roles on British Airways’ proposed £4.4bn merger with Spanish carrier Iberia.
Corporate partner David Whittmann, M&A partner Steve Cooke and tax partner Tony Breare are leading the Slaughters team acting for longstanding client BA.
The Norton Rose team acting for Iberia is led by corporate partner Nick Adams. The firm is acting alongside a Garrigues team headed by co-managing partner Fernando Vives.
The instruction is a coup for Norton Rose, with Allen & Overy advising Iberia when its BA tie-up was first mooted last year. Clifford Chance had previously acted for the airline (30 July 2008).
Another Spanish firm - Uria Menendez - is advising BA on matters relating to Spanish law. Its team is led by corporate partner Juan Francisco Falcon.
The tie-up would create the world’s third biggest airline, boasting 419 aircraft serving 205 destinations worldwide.
The two airlines announced that they had reached preliminary agreement on the merger last week, with the deal slated to complete late next year.
A new holding company - TopCo - would be created to bring together the two groups of shareholders. BA shareholders would own 55 per cent of the company, with Iberia’s shareholders claiming 45 per cent.