Garrigues takes top spot on first Spanish IPO in a year

Former Andersen Legal firm Garrigues has won the top role on the first Spanish initial public offering (IPO) for over a year, the e1.8bn (£1.2bn) flotation of gas company Enagas, which was approved last week.
The firm is advising Enagas and its parent company Gas Natural, which is floating 65 per cent of its stake in Enagas in the first full divestment in the Spanish energy sector.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has been instructed by Gas Natural to provide English law advice alongside Garrigues. The consortium of joint coordinators for the IPO, including Goldman Sachs and Santander Central Hispano, instructed Slaughter and May's Spanish best friend Uría & Menéndez and US firm Sullivan & Cromwell.
Garrigues won the work through its connections with energy company Repsol, a longstanding client of the firm, which has a 24 per cent stake in Gas Natural. The deal could change the face of the Spanish energy market. Enagas controls all of the natural gas distribution network in Spain, and currently Spanish electricity companies do not have a foothold in the gas sector. Buying a stake in Enagas will allow them to diversify into supplying gas.
Enagas is the first Spanish IPO since the airline Iberia floated in March 2001.
“We're certainly very excited about this deal. It's the first IPO in over a year in Spain and we don't expect there to be many more in 2002,” said Garrigues securities partner Javier Ybáñez, who is leading the team on the Enagas deal.
Sullivan & Cromwell, working alongside Uría, was instructed directly by Goldman Sachs, Santander, Bolsa and BBVA, none of which are new clients, according to London managing partner Bill Plapinger.
Sullivan does not have any exclusive referral relationships in Spain. Despite this, Enagas is the latest in a long line of Spanish IPOs that the US firm has been instructed on. It advised Spanish corporate giants Endesa, Telefonica and Terra on their IPOs and has worked on every share offering Repsol has undertaken, said Plapinger.
Winning this IPO is significant for Garrigues. The firm walked out of the now defunct Andersen Legal network in March, after Andersen was indicted in the US for its role in the collapse of Enron. At the time, many Spanish lawyers speculated whether 900-lawyer Garrigues could survive without Andersen's support.
The firm has since carved out an exclusive referral deal for tax work with Deloitte & Touche in Spain. This IPO proves Garrigues is one of Spain's corporate heavyweights, and consolidates the firm's position as an independent player in the market.