Deals Comment

CC lined up for CVC acquisition of Ladbrokes

Clifford Chance is understood to have secured an instruction from CVC Capital Partners on its pending £3bn bid for the UK’s largest bookmaker Ladbrokes. CVC has been a longstanding client of Clifford Chance, with global private equity head James Baird (pictured) nurturing the relationship. Baird declined to comment. No formal offer has been made by CVC to Ladbrokes’ parent company Hilton Group, but the hotels and leisure operator has confirmed that it has received expressions of interest on a possible takeover. CVC is one of three buyout firms to have expressed interest to Hilton. BC Partners and Blackstone have also contacted the company. Slaughter and May is known to have maintained a close relationship with the Hilton Group since the company formed its international strategic alliance in 1997. Slaughters relationship partner Richard de Carle declined to comment on the potential bid. As reported in The Lawyer (9 January), Hilton is in the process of selling its international hotel business to US partner Hilton Hotels Corporation. Slaughters acted on the agreement, which will see the Hilton brand reunited for the first time since it was split in 1964.

City partners await Mowlem bids

The bidding war between Balfour Beatty and Carillion for Mowlem is keeping City partners busy. Macfarlanes corporate partner Tim Lewis is advising Mowlem, a long-term client. Linklaters corporate partner Mark Stamp is advising Balfour Beatty, while Slaughters’ William Underhill is advising Carillion, which has had an offer accepted by the Mowlem board. As The Lawyer went to press, Balfour was on a deadline to submit a counter-bid for Mowlem; analysts expect a cash offer of £310m. Carillion has announced a £278m offer of shares and cash. The lawyers declined to comment, but all said they were expecting developments “within the next week or so”.