Ferrovial and Freshfields step ahead in BAA takeover battle

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has nudged ahead of Ashurst in the battle to takeover UK airports operator BAA.

Spanish construction group Ferrovial, advised by Freshfields partner Laurie McFadden, emerged as the winning bidder overnight after the BAA board recommended its 950p-a-share cash offer. The offer values BAA at £10.11bn.

The Goldman Sachs-led consortium, advised by Ashurst corporate partner Adrian Clark, which made an offer of 955p-a-share (including a final dividend of 15.25p) has been rejected. The consortium, which also includes AIG, Canada’s Borealis and Australia’s Commonwealth Bank now has until 16 June to return to the negotiating table with a revised offer.

The move will be a blow to Ashurst because the Goldman mandate is the silver circle firm’s biggest instruction since its role advising entrepreneur Philip Green on his failed bid for Marks & Spencer.

BAA is being advised by Herbert Smith corporate partner Gareth Roberts and on debt finance issues by Allen & Overy partner Boyan Wells.