Skandia goes with Skadden

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has bagged Skandia as a new client.

As first reported on (5 September), the New York firm is advising the Nordic insurance company on its potential SKr44.5bn (£3.3bn) acquisition by Old Mutual.

London-based partners Scott Simpson and Hunter Baker are advising on Old Mutual’s public offer for Skandia’s entire issued share capital, announced last week. The deal is subject to regulatory and board approval.

Linklaters is acting for Old Mutual, a South African financial services group listed on the London Stock Exchange. The firm has previously represented Old Mutual several times. Fredrik Lindqvist, a corporate partner based in Stockholm, is leading on the deal, supported by London corporate partners David Cheyne and Duncan Barber.

The deal is the largest to involve a Swedish company since 2002’s £5bn merger of Finnish telecoms company Telia with Swedish operator Sonera. Linklaters was also on that deal, advising the State of Sweden and Sonera from its Stockholm office.

Among Swedish investors, Skandia is held in some affection. It was one of the first companies to list on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in 1863 and is the only company to have been continually listed since then.

If Old Mutual successfully acquires Skandia, the combined group will be worth around SKr108.7bn (£7.94bn) and will become one of the world’s largest insurance companies.

Swedish law firm Foretagsjuridik Nord & Co is advising Skandia on local law issues.