Bredin Prat tops French M&A tables

French independent Bredin Prat has overtaken Clifford Chance and Linklaters to come top of the league table for announced deals in 2004.

The firm advised on 22 deals worth a total of €79bn during 2004, according to Mergermarket’s French league tables. Key transactions included advising Aventis on its €57.7bn acquisition by Sanofi, and Wanadoo on its acquisition by France Telecom.
Bredin Prat is also involved in the recently-announced merger of telecoms company Sagem with aerospace corporation Snecma, advising Snecma, and worked for Lagardère on its sale of Editis to Wendel Investissment.

Clifford Chance comes second in the league table by value, having worked on 38 deals valued at €72.3bn. This figure could be hit in 2005 by the recent departure of corporate star Dominique Bompoint to Sullivan & Cromwell.

Last year’s top-placed firm, Linklaters, slid three places to fourth. However Linklaters advised on the most deals – 42 – of the top 20 firms.

American firms saw the greatest rises in work in 2004. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom rose 32 places to fifth, advising on deals worth €69.4bn. Baker & McKenzie and Dewey Ballantine also climbed the table, achieving 12th and 13th places respectively from 2003’s 64th and 73rd.

But it was not a good year for Gide Loyrette Nouel, which dropped to 20th position from fifth, advising on deals worth just €9bn in 2004. This is in sharp contrast to Gide’s performance in 2003, when its deal work was valued at €18bn.