Slaughters beats Clifford Chance to Permira’s WHSmith bid

Slaughter and May has scored a major coup by acting for Permira on its bid for retailer WHSmith.

Permira has traditionally been associated with Clifford Chance but it is understood that the private equity house, which used to be known as Schroder Ventures, has brought in Slaughters to lessen its reliance on just one firm.

In the past the private equity house has turned to Slaughters when Clifford Chance has been conflicted out of a deal.

Slaughter’s corporate partner Robin Ogle is leading the deal for Perimira.

The private equity house’s 375p per share bid for WHSmith, valuing the retailer at £939.4m, is still in its early stages and as yet no formal offer been made for the company.

WHSmith has retained its usual corporate counsel Linklaters.

Clifford Chance and Slaughter and May were unavailable for comment.