Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC) all landed roles on a merger agreement that is aimed at challenging the dominance of online search engine Rightmove in the online property sector.
The agreed merger is between online property business Zoopla and the Daily Mail & General Trust’s (DMGT) consumer media division A&N Media. The proposed tie-up has been referred to the Office of Fair Trading.
A&N Media’s online property business is contained within its Digital Property Group and includes websites Findaproperty.com and Primelocation.com.
Zoopla Limited is a privately owned company, whose largest shareholders are generally venture capitalists, trading under the brand Zoopla.co.uk.
Under the terms of the proposed merger, A&N Media will retain a 55 per cent interest in the new company, with Zoopla holding the rest.
RPC, led by corporate senior associate Nick Richards, advised DMGT, while Gibson Dunn acted for Zoopla, with corporate partners Ken Lamb and James Barabas leading on the transaction. It is understood that Freshfields, led by partner Mark Sansom, advised both sides on competition issues.
A&N Media is a long-time client of RPC. In 2008 the firm advised the company, then known as Associated Northcliffe Digital, on its acquisition of Broadbean Technology.
Gibson Dunn’s Lamb, meanwhile has much experience in the online sector, counting the likes of Amazon.com and Facebook as his clients.