Emmerson joins Sullivan early for Thomas Cook-MyTravel merger

M&A rainmaker Tim Emmerson has landed his first deal since jumping ship from Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy to US rival Sullivan & Cromwell.

Emmerson is leading the Sullivan team advising Thomas Cook on its merger with MyTravel.

Goldman Sachs, advising Thomas Cook with Citigroup, recommended Emmerson. Goldman Sachs asked Emmerson to join Sullivan a month earlier than scheduled so that he could work on the deal.

The merger will create a travel company with an annual revenue of £8bn, hopefully saving both groups a total of £75m a year. The new company, Thomas Cook Group, will be headquartered in the UK, trading shares in London using My Travel’s current listing.

Instead of a reverse takeover by MyTravel, a new company was created that will buy both MyTravel and Thomas Cook, the former through a scheme of arrangement.

KarstadtQuelle, the German chain that owns Thomas Cook, will own 52 per cent of the new company. MyTravel shareholders will own the rest.

A precondition to the deal is that KarstadtQuelle buys the Thomas Cook shares that it does not already own from Lufthansa. On that transaction, which is currently awaiting EU antitrust clearance, Hengeler Mueller is advising Karstadt-Quelle and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is acting for Lufthansa.

MyTravel turned to a Slaughter and May team led by corporate partner William Underhill, competition partner Malcolm Nicholson and finance partner Roland Turnill. It is being advised by Credit Suisse and UBS.