Slaughters drives £1.9bn first group buy

Slaughter and May has scooped a mandate to advise bus giant First Group on the £1.9bn acquisition of Laidlaw, the US’s biggest operator of yellow school buses. The deal is First Group’s second foray into the US. The group entered the US in 1999 with the £540m acquisition of school bus operator Ryder. The acquisition will be financed through new bank facilities and equity issues of approximately £375m, including a £200m placing, which was announced separately on 9 February. The Slaughters team was led by First Group relationship partners Nigel Boardman and Andrew Jolly. New York heavyweight Davis Polk & Wardwell advised First Group on the US aspects of the deal. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom partners Peter Atkins, Bill Kunkel, Michael Hatchard and Linda Davies advised Laidlaw, which also owns the iconic Greyhound long-distance buses.