Slaughter and May scooped this deal from the jaws of Freshfields after it had a massive conflict – being the law firm of choice for both Powergen, through London, and E.ON, through merger partner Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Löber in Germany.
Slaughters was called in without beauty parading, in a move believed to be the result of the firm’s relationship with E.ON’s investment bank Goldman Sachs. Corporate finance partner Charles Randell led the deal for the firm, working with tax partner Steve Edge and employment partner Howard Jacobs.
Though Slaughters’ client E.ON is taking over Freshfields’ Powergen, it is unlikely that the merged group will drop Freshfields. Randell says that Slaughters sees the deal as only a one-off referral.
US firms LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae and Steptoe & Johnson were both brought in by E.ON to advise on the complicated US energy regulatory aspects which mean that the deal is unlikely to close until early next year. Cleary Gottlieb advised on aspects of US securities law.