Skadden scoops Nasdaq instruction on LSE bid

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom secured the lead advisory role on Nasdaq’s £4.2bn informal cash bid for the London Stock Exchange (LSE), as the protracted battle for the exchange reignited.

The Skadden team, consisting of lawyers from the New York and London offices, is being led by New York corporate partner Eric Friedman and London-based corporate partner Michael Hatchard. Skadden competition partner Barry Hawk and tax partners Sally Thurston and James Anderson are also acting on the proposal.

The offer came just days after Nasdaq rival, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) started trading as a public company. The NYSE, represented by Manhattan firm Watchtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, has long been touted as a potential bidder for the LSE.

The bid is the fourth foreign takeover approach to the LSE during the past 18 months. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Graham Nicholson is leading the defence team for the LSE.

Nasdaq’s bid came a month after the Macquarie Bank walked away from its hostile bid, with lead legal advisers Helen Bradley from Baker & McKenzie conceding defeat.

Deutsche Börse, represented by Ashurst corporate heavyweight Adrian Clark and competition partner Mat Hughes, and Euronext, advised by Slaughter and May partners Frances Murphy and Nilufer von Bismarck, as well as Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton partner John Brinitzer and competition partner Nick Levy, are still sorting through undertakings by the Competition Commission.