Macfarlanes gains mandate as ITV sells Friends Reunited

Macfarlanes and Lovells won key advisory roles on ITV’s sale of loss-making social networking site Friends Reunited.

Tom Whelan

Tom Whelan

Lovells advised longstanding client ITV on the £25m deal, with partner Tom Whelan leading a team from the firm.

Online publishing and technology business Brightsolid and its owner, Dundee-based publishing company DC Thomson & Co, instructed Macfarlanes on the acquisition with partner Nicola Richards leading.

Richards said: “The deal was negotiated in a very tight timetable and drew on our expertise across a number of technical areas including e-commerce and data handling.”

Lovells’ instruction comes after Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer had managed to muscle in on the national firm’s relationship with ITV in recent years.

In 2005 The Lawyer reported that Freshfields advised ITV on its acquisition of Friends Reunited (7 December 2005).

Lovells and Freshfields teamed up to advise ITV in 2006 when the two firms  defended the independent broadcaster against the unsuccessful £3.6bn bid from a consortium led by Apax and Goldman Sachs (30 November 2006).