CC, Links join Skadden and Sullivan on £8.2bn Barclays sell-off

Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Sullivan & Cromwell have led the legal advisers on the $13.5bn (£8.2bn) sale of Barclays Global Investors (BGI) to BlackRock.

Clifford Chance corporate partners Guy Norman and Patrick Sarch represented Barclays in the UK, alongside Los Angeles-based Sullivan & Cromwell partners Alison Ressler and Eric Krautheimer, and firm chairman Rodgin Cohen.

BlackRock turned to regular adviser Skadden for the deal, which is being paid for with a mixture of cash and shares. The Skadden team was led by New York partners Richard Prins, Franklin Gittes, Sean Doyle and Barnet Phillips. They worked alongside Linklaters corporate partner Olivia McKendrick and financial markets partner Michael Kent.

The move creates the world’s largest asset management business – in 2006 BlackRock acquired the asset management arm of Merrill Lynch in a $16bn (£9.2bn) deal. On that deal Skadden acted for BlackRock with Sullivan & Cromwell advising Merrill Lynch (20 February 2006).

Clifford Chance and Sullivan & Cromwell have been Barclays’s lawyers of choice throughout the financial crisis. The pair teamed up on negotiations over the sale of Barclays’ traded funds business iShares for £3bn in April (13 April 2009).

SJ Berwin won the instruction from buyer CVC Capital Partners alongside Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft in the US. That deal now looks set to be scrapped unless CVC makes an improved offer for the whole of BGI.

Barclays staff with shares in BGI are set for a cash windfall of £365m from the transaction.