Cleary and Wachtell help to create banking giant

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz have helped to create one of the US’s largest banking institutions after advising on Capital One Financial’s $14.6bn (£8.4bn) acquisition of North Fork Bank.

Capital One will acquire North Fork through a mixture of equity and cash. North Fork shareholders will receive cash or stock valued at $31.18 (£17.83) per share, a 22.8 per cent premium over North Fork’s closing share price on 10 March.

The combined company will be one of the US’s top 10 banks with deposits of more than $84bn (£48bn), 50 million customer accounts and 655 branches. Capital One is one of the largest credit card issuers in the US, while North Fork is a regional bank headquartered in New York.

Capital One is a longstanding client of Cleary, with the firm having first acted on its IPO around 10 years ago.

Last year Cleary scooped another billion-dollar mandate from Capital One when the credit card issuer put in an offer for New Orleans-based Hibernia Corporation for $5bn (£2.9bn). The deal was first agreed in August 2005 for $5.3bn (£3bn), but was renegotiated a few months later to allow for the impact of Hurricane Katrina.

New York-based corporate partner Jack Murphy led the Cleary team on the acquisition of North Folk, with partner Derek Bush advising on regulatory issues and Arthur Kohn on employment matters.

Wachtell corporate partner Edward Herling advised North Fork.