Linklaters acts for BP in liquid gold takeover

Oil is indeed turning out to be liquid gold for Linklaters. The firm is acting for BP Amoco in its proposed u15bn-plus takeover of US oil group Atlantic Richfield (Arco).

The deal, announced last week, will be the second huge transaction Linklaters has worked on for BP in under a year. The firm acted for BP in the company's u67.5bn merger with Amoco in September last year – the world's biggest-ever industrial merger.

Linklaters' team is led by head of mergers and acquisitions David Cheyne and includes partner Lee Taylor and partner-elect Iain Fenn on the corporate side, and tax partner Conor Hurley. Senior partner Charles Allen-Jones is on standby, as he was involved in the BP-Amoco merger.

Each company is using its trusted, long-standing law firms on both sides of the Atlantic.

Clifford Chance is acting for Arco in the UK. Its 10-strong team is led by corporate partner Alan Signy and includes competition partner Alex Nourry. Other partners will advise on an ad-hoc basis.

On his last major transaction, Signy advised General Accident on its merger with Commercial Union, creating u15bn insurance giant CGU last June. Coincidentally, Linklaters advised Commercial Union on the deal.

US firm Sullivan & Cromwell is acting for BP Amoco, as it did for BP in last year's merger. Cravath Swain & Moore is representing its long-term client Arco in the US.

If the merger goes through, the value of BP Amoco – already the UK's biggest company – could be more than 10 per cent of the FTSE100 index. BP Amoco is represented by Morgan Stanley, while Arco is advised by Goldman Sachs and Salomon Smith Barney.