Lovells scores hat trick for AutoLogic

Lovells has pulled off a hat trick of deals for longstanding client AutoLogic Holdings and coordinated them all to be announced together.

The firm managed three teams concurrently, which were overseen by client relationship partner Alison Hampton. She has been working for the client since 1997 when it was admitted to the London Stock Exchange official list.

AutoLogic has announced two acquisitions and a rights issue simultaneously, with the three transactions combined worth £418m.

It is acquiring a substantial proportion of Axial, the automotive distribution business of Tibbett & Britten Group, for £74.5m. It is also planning to buy a 40 per cent stake in a consortium established to acquire Compagnie d’Affrètement et de Transport (Cat), Renault’s logistics business, for euro467.4m (£292m).

Finally, the firm advised on a one-for-two rights issue to raise £51m.

Capital markets partner Andrew Carey, who led the rights issue deal, says: “The biggest challenge for the company and for us was the goal of announcing both acquisitions on the same day. We had to run something of a parallel course in the expectation that one or more of the transactions might not be announceable at the same time.”

Partners Alison Hampton and Nigel Read led the team advising on the acquisition of Axial, with Lesley Ainsworth advising on competition and banking partners David Lacey and Catherine Allinson advising on the credit facility.

Paris partner Jon Harry led the team on the Cat transaction, while Carey worked with newly-appointed partner Charles Rix on the rights issue.

Global Automotive Logistics, the consortium of AutoLogic, TNT, Wallenius and Renault, which is acquiring Cat, was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Renault was advised by French firm Jeantet & Associés, and lead bank CIBC was advised by Allen & Overy. The underwriter to the rights issue, Cazenove & Co, was advised by Macfarlanes, while Tibbett & Britten, the seller of Axial, was advised by Denton Wilde Sapte.

In the past, Lovells has advised AutoLogic on its investment in, its joint venture with Axis Group, called Autocar, and its acquisition of Mansped.