B&M scoops lead role on Macquarie’s bid for LSE

Baker & McKenzie has scooped the lead role advising the Macquarie Bank on its expected bid for the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

It is understood the firm was able to secure the role because the majority of City firms are unable to act for the Australian lender due to conflicting roles in relation to the LSE.

Baker & McKenzie has declined to confirm or deny the instruction, but sources close to the deal told The Lawyer the firm has been appointed by Macquarie on the deal.

The news came after the Takeover Panel issued a ‘put-up-or-shut-up’ order to the Macquarie Bank.

Under the terms of the ruling, Macquarie must formally announce whether or not it intends to bid for LSE by 5pm on 15 December.

Meanwhile, Linklaters has also been appointed by Macquarie to advise the financial backer Goldman Sachs on the bid. Aside from Macquarie, Euronext and Deutsche Börse may also place offers for the LSE. The Competition Commission has given the necessary green light to Euronext and Deutsche Börse, but imposed a number of tough conditions that many believe are potential deal-breakers.

Euronext is being advised by Slaughter and May on M&A, led by Frances Murphy and Nilufer von Bismark, and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton on competition and regulatory issues, led by Paris-based partner John Brinitzer.

Euronext is expected to announce whether it will bid early next year, after an earlier offer was stalled when the Competition Commission ordered it to divest most of its 41 per cent stake in LCH Clearnet, which handles post-trade clearing services for the LSE.

LCH Clearnet is instructing Clifford Chance corporate partner Jonny Myers.

Ashurst corporate head Adrian Clark is acting for Deutsche Börse, which has been permitted to bid on the proviso that it uses LCH Clearnet and not its own clearer, Eurex.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is advising the LSE.