Swedish govt sell-off goes way of Ashurst

Ashurst’s Swedish strategy has reaped dividends, with the firm landing a key role on the first wave of Swedish government-led privatisations.

The top 15 firm scored instructions from Deutsche Bank and UBS as underwriters to the Swedish government in its E2bn (£1.37bn) disposal of an 8 per cent stake in mobile communications company TeliaSonera, the biggest stock sale in Sweden for five years.

Linklaters, which also has a Stockholm office, represented the government after scoring a place on its panel ahead of the privatisations, which will see Swedish household names such as Nordea Bank and Absolut vodka owner V&S Vin & Sprit up for sale.

Jonas Bergh, founder of the Swedish firm that joined Ashurst in January, told The Lawyer: “We didn’t pitch for the panel because we prefer to be on the buy-side. But having a Swedish office was very instrumental in getting the instruction, which involved a great deal of Swedish law.”

Leading the Ashurst team were Bergh alongside US corporate partners Daniel Bushner and Eric Stuart.

Ashurst has had a strong start in Sweden, acting on the £1.8bn disposal for Apax Partners of Swedish healthcare company Mölnlycke, among others.