Sullivan, Darrois take M&A lead

A quiet first quarter in France has seen four French independent firms climb the M&A rankings amid continued Anglo-Saxon and US dominance in Paris.

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier topped Mergermar-ket’s first-quarter league table for value of transactions. It acted on three deals worth a total of €9.6bn (£6.61bn), including the €8.4bn (£5.78bn) acquisition of 30 per cent of property group Gecina by Metrovacesa, advising the sellers, Assurances Generales de France.

Bredin Prat, De Pardieu Brocas Maffei and Rambaud Martel also featured in the top 20. De Pardieu and Rambaud both improved their 2004 placings, moving up by 21 and six places respectively.

Other notable climbers were Simmons & Simmons, which rocketed from 77th position to fourth at the end of March, and Jones Day, rising 40 places to sixth by value. The latter acted on eight deals in the first quarter – more than any other top 20 firm.

Meanwhile, in Germany, Sullivan & Cromwell topped Mergermarket’s M&A table for the first quarter of 2005 despite acting on just two deals. Its stellar performance is due to its role on the acquisitions by Novartis of Eon Labs and Hexal, together totalling €5.5bn (£3.79bn), during which it advised financial adviser Goldman Sachs. Shearman & Sterling, which is advising Novartis, jumped from tenth place to second.

UK firms fared well in the volume tables, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Clifford Chance holding on to the first and second spots respectively.

Firms advising on deals in Germany worth over €5m, 1 Jan 05-23 Mar 05

Y/E 2004 Q1 2005 House Value €bn (£bn) No deals
36 1 Sullivan & Cromwell 5.50 (3.79) 2
10 2 Shearman & Sterling 4.40 (3.03) 4
3 3 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 3.12 (2.15) 12
4 4 Linklaters 2.82 (1.94) 6
15 5 Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz 2.71 (1.87) 2

Source: Mergermarket Source: Mergermarket

Firms advising on deals in France worth over €5m, 1 Jan 05-23 Mar 05

Y/E 2004 Q1 2005 House Value €bn (£bn) No deals
7 1 Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier 9.60 (6.61) 3
9 2 Sullivan & Cromwell 9.52 (6.55) 3
3 3 Linklaters 8.70 (5.99) 7
77 4 Simmons & Simmons 8.39 (5.77) 2
11 5 Rambaud Martel 8.37 (5.76) 2

Source: Mergermarket Source: Mergermarket