Freshfields beats Ashurst on BAA bid

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has won the battle to take over UK airports operator BAA. Spanish construction group Ferrovial, advised by Freshfields, emerged as the winning bidder last week after the BAA board recommended its 950p-per-share cash offer. The offer values BAA at £10.11bn. The Goldman Sachs-led consortium, which includes AIG, Canada’s Borealis and Australia’s Commonwealth Bank, pulled out of the race last Thursday (8 June). The consortium was advised by Ashurst corporate partner Adrian Clark. The move is a blow to Ashurst because the Goldman Sachs mandate is the 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. Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy advised the lenders to the Goldman Sachs consortium.