Milbank handed role on Macquarie takeover of Stagecoach London

Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has scooped an instruction to advise Macquarie Bank on its acquisition of Stagecoach’s London bus operations.

The acquisitive Australian bank, which is currently locked in a bidding war with Goldman Sachs for Associated British Ports, signed a deal to buy Stagecoach London for £263.6m in cash on 23 June.

Milbank won the mandate thanks to its role advising Goldman Sachs, Macquarie’s financial adviser, on the Australian bank’s unsuccessful hostile offer for the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in March.

The sale is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close within three months.

Milbank’s role on the LSE bid also gifted the New York firm with a mandate to advise Dresdner (Macquarie’s lender on the LSE bid) on all the loan financing work arising out of the unsuccessful offer made by the Goldman Sachs consortium for UK airports operator BAA. Goldman Sachs and BAA were advised by Ashurst and Herbert Smith respectively on that deal.

The Milbank team was led by corporate partner Tim Emmerson. Meanwhile, SJ Berwin handled property matters for Macquarie and it is understood that Clifford Chance advised the lender, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. Herbert Smith partner Ben Ward led the team advising Stagecoach.

Stagecoach London is made up of two companies that provide bus services on routes within and from London, principally under contract from Transport for London. Following the disposal, the UK bus division will focus on the bus market outside London, where it is pursuing a successful growth strategy.