Raft of transatlantic elite firms act on HP’s $12bn Autonomy bid

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and Slaughter and May have scored top roles advising on Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) $11.7bn (£7.1bn) acquisition of global software company Autonomy, the largest ever deal in the technology sector.

Gibson Dunn acted as primary deal counsel in both the US and the UK for HP in its offer of £25.50 per share in cash. London corporate partners Jeff Roberts and Selina Sagayam led the UK M&A team and partners Dennis Friedman and James Moloney headed the US M&A side.

A team from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer led by partners Ben Spiers, Ed Braham, Nick Squire and Tom Ensign worked alongside Gibson Dunn as joint advisers to HP, focusing particularly on antitrust and HR issues.

A Washington-based team from US firm Drinker Biddle, led by partner Bob Skital, also provided HP with US antitrust advice, while a London-based team at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom acted as counsel to HP’s board of directors and also gave advice on tax matters.

Slaughters took the lead role advising Autonomy, with London corporate partners Steve Cooke and Gary Eaborn heading the team.

US firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius also provided antitrust advice to Autonomy, with New York partner Harry Robin at the helm.

White & Case, led by partner Gavin Weir, represented Qatalyst Partners in its capacity as lead financial adviser and sole Rule 3 adviser to Autonomy on the deal. Morrison Foerster partner Ed Lukins also advised Qatalyst Partners.

Linklaters also took a role representing Barclays Capital and financial adviser Perella Weinberg Partners on the financing of the takeover bid, and US firm Milbank provided additional lending advice for Barclays Capital.

Autonomy’s board of directors has unanimously recommended that its shareholders accept the takeover offer from HP, and the acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year.