Slaughters, Davis Polk to profit from Cairn’s Bombay flotation

Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy’s decision to float on the Bombay Stock Exchange has generated choice roles for Davis Polk & Wardwell, Slaughter and May and Indian stalwart Amarchand Mangaldas & Suresh.

The energy company, the Indian assets of which lie mainly in Rajasthan oil fields, also used its preferred Scottish adviser Shepherd & Wedderburn on the proposed flotation, which the company hopes will raise at least £618m.

Slaughters has a longstanding relationship with Cairn. Client relationship partner Charles Randell heads the team along with corporate partner Gavin Brown. The firm acted for Cairn in January when the company swapped a number of Indian oil and gas assets with NGC, said Randell.

“India’s a very important market for Slaughter and May,” said Randell. “We act both for Indian companies and for those investing in India. It’s definitely a market we’re watching.”

Slaughters has a referral relationship with Amarchand, among other Indian firms, and currently has a secondee there. The connection is not as concrete as the Slaughters’ alliances in Western jurisdictions, however. At Davis Polk, a team led by corporate partner Tom Reid advised Cairn on the US aspects of the capital markets transaction. Meanwhile, corporate partner Shardul Shroff led Amarchand’s team.

The transaction has two main components: new company Cairn India will be floated on the Bombay bourse, then the group will dispose of its Indian business to Cairn India for cash and a majority shareholding in Cairn India. The proceeds will be returned to shareholders and kept for ongoing business.