Slaughters and Weil seal Terra Firma’s Thresher divestment

Slaughter and May and Weil Gotshal & Manges have secured key roles advising on Terra Firma’s sale of the Thresher Group to a consortium led by private equity and pensions investor Edmund Truell.

On 28 May The Lawyer revealed Weil Gotshal’s success advising Terra Firma on its £3.2bn bid for music publishing company EMI. The firm has now landed a role opposite the private equity house, with corporate partner Michael Francies leading the team advising Truell.

Philip Snell is leading the Slaughters team advising Terra Firma. The company is an existing client for Snell, who advised it on the £530m acquisition of the Waste Recycling Group in 2004.

Terra Firma’s regular advisers include Ashurst and Lovells, but on the back of the private equity house’s recent flurry of activity Weil Gotshal has won an increasing amount of advisory work.

Earlier this year (16 April) a Weil Gotshal team, led by corporate partner Marco Compagnoni, was instructed to advise on its joint bid with charity Wellcome Trust for Alliance Boots.

Off-licence company the Thresher Group was acquired by Terra Firma boss Guy Hands following his departure from investment bank Nomura in 2002. The company has 2,000 UK stores and 12,000 employees.

Last year the Thresher Group bought 200 stores from collapsed retailer Unwins for £10m (The Lawyer, 9 January 2006). Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised the company at that time.

Slaughters and Weil Gotshal both declined to comment on the current deal.