A&O takes top role on Corporate Express deal

Allen & Overy‘s (A&O) Amsterdam office has scored a lead role on one of the biggest corporate deals to hit the Netherlands this year, advising Corporate Express on its e1.7bn (£1.35bn) takeover of wholesaler Lyreco.

Amsterdam corporate partners Martin Muller and Charles Honée and competition partner Paul Glazener are advising office products supplier Corporate Express. The transaction is key to the Dutch company’s defence against a hostile takeover from US competitor Staples.

Glazener said: “Corporate Express is a long-term client of ours. We’re running this out of Amsterdam at the moment, but there may be a time when we start to involve other offices.”

The deal comes three months after Staples offered to buy Corporate Express for e2.5bn (£1.99bn).

Staples ;met ;heavy resistance from Corporate Express chief Peter Ventress and many in the industry see the Lyreco deal as a potential defence against future aggressive bids.

Simmons & Simmons Amsterdam joint managing partner Jean Pierre van Leeuwe is leading the team for Lyreco, along with Rotterdam partner Pieter Van Uchelen.

CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre partners Frédéric Winkler and Bruno Peillon are advising Lyreco on the tax aspects of the deal, while Dutch firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek is advising the Corporate Express board.