The IPO specialists

An analysis


ALLEN & OVERY
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: 8
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: 7

Had a good year considering, advising its banking clients. The equity capital markets team is still there and has allowed the firm to face up to its investment banking clients by mirroring the teams. However, partner Jonathan Lang says the team concentrates on debt capital markets as well as M&A work. The majority came from Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) on the Michael Page International IPO and on the Carphone Warehouse float. The firm also acted for longstanding client UBS Warburg on Zen Research, where it provided both US and UK advice. It did not make inroads into the issuer camp, advising on only one deal.

ASHURST MORRIS CRISP
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: 9
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: 4

Acted on three deals with most being for sponsors Hoare Govett, Crédit Lyonnais and Schroder Salomon Smith Barney. However, the firm achieved a coup in winning the role as adviser to Carphone Warehouse.

ANDERSEN LEGAL
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: n/a
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: 2

Despite the gloom, Andersen Legal did much better than some on the IPO market. It acted on two IPOs, one an investment trust, but the other for Cambridge client TTP Communications on its £68.6m flotation.

BROBECK HALE AND DORR
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: 4
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: 3

The last 18 months has been tinged with redundancies for the US technology firm, although it did advise on three dual listings for the issuer. It is now looking towards biotechnology and life sciences and is advising ING Barings and SG Cowen on the £24m rights issue by Antisoma. Last time the firm leveraged off its good relationships with investment banks Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. The big difference is that, in our last survey, it acted on deals for investment banks worth £2.7bn, but did not advise on one in the current survey, although the three deals it did for issuers were worth an impressive £5bn. “There’s nothing much we can do – it’s really up to the investment banks,” says partner Chris Grew. The firm focuses on venture capital in the rough times, and keeping itself well positioned with the investment banks. But the current market is nothing new. “One of our US partners said recently that he’s ridden out four recessions,” says Grew. “This isn’t the first time.”

CLIFFORD CHANCE
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: 8
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: 2

Clifford Chance had a bad year in the UK, acting on just two IPOs between July 2000 and June 2001. Its strongest market was Italy, where it advised on the IPO of Davide Campari-Milano on the Mercato Telematico Azionario in Milan. It also acted for France Telecom on the largest IPO in the history of equity capital markets, as well as on a number of investment trust deals throughout 2001.

EVERSHEDS
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: 5
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: 6

A respectable year, acting on a handful of investment trusts for both sponsors and issuers, including the £90m flotation of Telework Group.

FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: 10
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: 6

Freshfields worked on six deals for banks in 2001, including acting for Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Société Générale on the mammoth Orange flotation by France Telecom. It also advised UBS Warburg on the first technology-focused IPO of 2001 and Marlborough Stirling and Merrill Lynch on the £380.8m Regus Business Centers float. The firm usually comes out as acting 50-50 for banks and issuers.

HERBERT SMITH
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: 11
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: 4

Like last year, the firm was saved by the work of its well-respected investment trust practice. The volume fell away compared with 2000, but Herbert Smith managed to dispel arguments that it was lacking presence acting for issuers by landing a first instruction from Spherion Corp on the £650m international float of subsidiary Michael Page. It won the work over previous corporate advisers Lovells and Berwin Leighton Paisner, having been recommended by the sponsor to the offer, CSFB. The deal represents a new corporate client for Herbert Smith. “We’re now Michael Page’s corporate advisers going forward,” says partner James Palmer. On the whole though, Herbert Smith did suffer along with the best of them, clocking up only three IPOs in the past 18 months.

LAWRENCE GRAHAM
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: 8
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: N/A

Acted mostly for the issuers on trust flotations.

LINKLATERS
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: 21
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: 14

Premier IPO firm for the second year running with a good balance between its corporate and banking clients.

LOVELLS
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: n/a
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: 1

A terrible year volume-wise, with only one IPO from July 2000 to June 2001. Partner Hugh Nineham says the firm prefers the larger deals over volume work. It did act on the £1.6bn flotation of Granada Media in July 2000.

NABARRO NATHANSON
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: n/a
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: 2

Acted on two IPOs from July 2000 to December 2001, continuing its relationship with Peel Hunt and Investec Henderson Crosthwaite. It continues to perform well on AIM, which has aided its appearance on the official list.

NORTON ROSE
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: 15
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: 2

Acted on 30 investment trust IPOs from July 2000 to December 2001, mostly through its strong relationship with mid-market house Collins Stewart. It also capitalised on its ties with HSBC Investment Bank and UBS Warburg. Apart from this, it completed only one deal for an issuer. It won easyJet, acting as UK and US counsel, as a result of its US focus, a deal that valued the company at £776m. It also acted for Schroder Salomon Smith Barney on the £77m international flotation of Kensington Group.

OSBORNE CLARKE
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: n/a
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: 5

Began acting on the first technology IPO in 2001 for longstanding Cheltenham-based client Marlborough Stirling on its £76m float. It weathered the IPO storm well, acting on four IPOs from July 2000 to June 2001, mostly for issuers. It also clinched the £13.86m float of Vanco in November 2001, one of the few firms that acted on a non-investment trust deal in the latter part of the year.

OZANNES
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: 5
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: n/a

The Guernsey-based firm acted predominantly for investment trusts from July 2000 to December 2001.

SJ BERWIN
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: N/A
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: 2

Acted on two IPOs between July 2000 and June 2001, one for the issuer and one for the underwriter, including the £106.9m flotation of Collins Stewart Holdings.

SLAUGHTER AND MAY
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: 10
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: 2

Not stellar in terms of volume, but when Slaughters gets involved it is not done so lightly. It managed to appear on two of the largest deals, acting for Orange and Regus. The Regus float, which raised £334.96m, was a second attempt after it tried its luck in 1998 and then decided to beef up its US capability to achieve a dual listing. It is also acting for longstanding investment bank client Cazenove, whose plans to float were also shelved due to market conditions.

STEPHENSON HARWOOD
Number of IPOs January 1999-June 2000: 9
Number of IPOs July 2000-December 2001: n/a

The firm acted on a range of investment trusts from July 2000 through to December 2001.