City trio land brief to oversee LCH.Clearnet takeover process

Ashurst, Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have won key roles advising on the takeover of clearing house LCH.Clearnet.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) and ­financial information services company Markit put in rival tenders.

The board of LCH. Clearnet, London’s biggest ­clearing house, met last Monday (26 September) to discuss the offers and decided to accept the LSE’s offer.

The LSE offered e21 (£18.27) per share for 51 per cent of the business, valuing the target at e1bn (£870m). Markit’s offer put e15 on the table per share for the entire company.

Clifford Chance has been advising longstanding client LCH.Clearnet on the process, fielding a team led by corporate partner Patrick Sarch. Corporate associate Catherine Moir, financial regulatory partner Simon Gleeson and competition partner Greg Olsen also advised.

The LSE turned to Freshfields corporate partners Andrew Hutchings and Philip Richards, as well as competition partner Simon Priddis and Diane Bouw­meester, a senior associate in the financial regulatory team.

Ashurst, meanwhile, was hired to advise Markit, ­putting forward corporate partner Jonathan Earle. Ashurst has been Markit’s main external adviser since the company was founded in 2001.

Earle advised Markit ­earlier this year on its ­acquisition of QuIC Financial Technologies on the same side as US firm Proskauer Rose, the former home of Markit general counsel Adam Kansler.

Clifford Chance advised LCH on its merger with Clearnet, a deal completed in 2003. It also advised the merged entity on its ­acquisition of Euronext in 2007, a deal led by Sarch.

Freshfields won its role thanks to a longstanding relationship with the LSE. Hutchings and Richards were the corporate duo advising the stock exchange on its merger with Canadian exchange TMX.

Regulatory changes and a rush of consolidation among exchanges has led to a vibrant market for corporate and regulatory lawyers in the sector.

Slaughter and May and Macfarlanes both won new corporate and competition clients when BATS Global Markets acquired equity exchange Chi-X Europe ­earlier this year.