CC reclaims European M&A top spot

Former top dog Linklaters drops to second as CC storms ahead; US firms make good showing with eleven in top twenty

Clifford Chance has regained the top spot in the European M&A tables for the third quarter of 2004, beating Linklaters in both deal value and volume.

Mergermarket figures show Clifford Chance notching up 164 deals in the first three quarters of this year with a total deal value of e133.76bn (£92.36bn). Meanwhile, Linklaters, which topped the tables for the first half of 2004, has slipped into second place with 134 deals worth a total of €131.73bn (£90.96bn).

Sullivan & Cromwell stormed into third place with just 26 deals totalling €113.49bn (£78.36bn). Its tight relationship with Goldman Sachs contributed to almost €90bn (£62.45bn) worth of deals, including the €727m (£501.99bn) acquisition by Interbrew of its Russian subsidiary Sun Interbrew.

The firm also scored the plum role on France Telecom’s e3.9bn (£2.69bn) takeover of internet service provider Wanadoo, beating Linklaters and Shearman & Sterling to the work.

Herbert Smith, which had a secondary role advising Sanofi-Synthelabo’s financial adviser Merrill Lynch on the hostile takeover bid for Aventis, came in at fifth.

Once again, French firms make a respectable showing after a fillip in French M&A. Bredin Prat, which advised on 16 deals, comes in ninth by value. Among its key instructions, the firm advised Wanadoo on the takeover by France Telecom.

The tables again demonstrate the success of US firms’ penetration into the European M&A market. Of the top 20 firms ranked by value, 11 are US-based.

However, while US firms retain their strong position in high-value European M&A, UK firms continue to dominate in volume. Of the top 10 firms ranked in deals by volume, only Baker & McKenzie and Jones Day are headquartered outside London.

In total, European M&A activity rose by 19 per cent in value, from e107bn (£73.88bn) in the second quarter to €127bn (£87.69bn) in the third quarter.

League table (by value) of advisers on European transactions over e5m (1 Jan 2004-24 Sept 2004)

Q3 2004
(YE 2003)
Firm Value ebn (£bn) No of deals
1 (1) Clifford Chance 133.76 (92.36) 164
2 (2) Linklaters 131.73 (90.96) 134
3 (6) Sullivan & Cromwell 113.49 (78.36) 26
4 (3) Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 103.49 (71.46) 117
5 (11) Herbert Smith, Gleiss Lutz, Stibbe 87.9 (60.69) 66
6 (22) Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz 77.09 (53.23) 14
7 (31) Dewey Ballantine 74.22 (51.25) 23
8 (4) Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom 72.57 (50.11) 31
9 (28) Bredin Prat 70.54 (48.71) 16
10 (135) Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker 62.98 (43.49) 14
Source: mergermarket

Source: mergemarket