Slaughters and A&O scoop GE acquisition

General Electric (GE) has made an acquisitive start to the year, buying Vetco Gray from a private equity consortium for $1.9bn (£967.67m), as first reported by The Lawyer (15 January). In the UK the purchase was handled by regular UK and Europe adviser Slaughter and May, with relationship partner Frances Murphy leading on the US conglomerate’s £2.1bn acquisition of the aerospace division of Smiths Group, with which it is also entering into a joint venture.

The Smiths mandate went to Allen & Overy, led by corporate partner David Wootton.

The deal is structured in two parts: first GE will buy Smiths’ aerospace division and then the two companies will form a joint venture, Smiths GE Detection, two-thirds of which will be owned by Smiths and one-third by GE.