Freshfields usurps Slaughters for £7.85bn Hanson prize

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Macfarlanes have both won new clients to score key roles in the £7.85bn takeover of building materials company Hanson by German rival HeidelbergCement, announced this week.

Freshfields is advising Hanson, which is a prized client of Slaughter and May, Jones Day and Norton Rose among others. Corporate partner Will Lawes is leading the Freshfields team with associate Ed McCarthy.

Hanson’s legal director Graham Dransfield told The Lawyer that Freshfields did not have to pitch for the instruction.

Meanwhile, Macfarlanes scooped a role advising new client HeidelbergCement. Corporate partner Tim Lewis told The Lawyer that the instruction came directly from the client. Lewis is leading on the deal, with corporate partner Graham Gibb.

The offer is expected to be structured as a scheme of arrangement and Hanson’s board announced earlier this week that it would recommend the bid.

HeidelbergCement’s bid is being financed by the Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank, the company’s financial adviser and broker. Clifford Chance advised Deutsche Bank while Macfarlanes and Hengeler Mueller advised the company on its debt financing.

Rothschild advised Hanson and Hoare Govett acted as broker.

Dransfield said that it was “very much early days” in terms of knowing how the combined company’s legal entity might be structured if the deal is successful.