Deals comment

DP World triumphs in P&O bid

DP World triumphs in P&O bid

The race to take over Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer client P&O is all but over. P&O’s shareholders approved the proposed acquisition of the company by DP World at an extraordinary general meeting last Monday (13 February). DP World’s victory was taken as read after rival bidder PSA, advised by Slaughter and May head of M&A Stephen Cooke (pictured), pulled out of the race on 10 February. PSA made a 470p-per-share recommended cash offer for P&O on 26 January, but within 12 hours the offer was trumped by DP World, whose latest offer stands at 520p a share – 77p higher then its original 443p-per-share offer last November. It is now expected that DP World’s offer, which has been structured through a scheme of arrangement, will close as early as 2 March as the bidder has already obtained regulatory clearance. The Freshfields team is being led by partner Mark Rawlinson. Partners David Cheyne and Jeremy Parr are heading the Linklaters team advising DP World.

Macquarie Bank: last bidder standing on LSE takeover

Macquarie Bank remains the only solid bidder at the table in the battle for the London Stock Exchange (LSE) after the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) cleared its offer last week. Competition issues have been a key problem for Deutsche Börse, advised by Ashurst director of economics Mat Hughes, and Euronext, advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton partner Nick Levy. The LSE seemed likely to fall into the hands of a rival European exchange, but Euronext and Deutsche Börse have yet to show their cards. Baker & McKenzie is advising Macquarie, led by partner Helen Bradley. The LSE, represented by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Graham Nicholson, has extended the deadline for its response document to Macquarie’s bid, but the board is still strongly recommending that the offer is rejected. Macquarie’s offer is well below the market value of LSE shares.