Siemens snubs CC as Cleary wins Alstom deal

Cleary Gottlieb has elbowed aside Clifford Chance Pünder to advise Siemens on its E1.1bn (£767.9m) acquisition of Alstom’s industrial turbine business.

This is the first corporate deal in which Cleary Gottlieb has advised Siemens, having previously advised it on antitrust issues.

A Clifford Chance partner shrugged off the snub by such an important client, saying that it was natural for the company to spread its work and that it was working on other deals for Siemens.

The acquisition is one of Siemens’ largest in recent years and comprises two separate transactions. Alstom is selling its small gas turbines and its medium gas and steam turbines businesses as part of a strategic plan aimed at reducing the company’s E6bn (£4.19bn) debt and saving it from possible bankruptcy.

Lovells is advising Alstom on a number of facets of this strategic plan, including the E2bn (£1.4bn) sale of its power transmission and distribution business, securing E1bn (£698m) of debt financing and amending the financing covenants in Alstom’s existing syndicated loans. The company is also expected to launch a €600m (£418.8m) rights issue.

Cleary Gottlieb London partner Simon Jay is leading the transaction, with assistance from lawyers in Brussels, Frankfurt, New York, Washington DC and Moscow.

The first deal for the small turbines business is due to be concluded today (5 May). The parties were anticipating that the European Commission (EC) would derogate from the normal waiting period, based on the absence of antitrust issues and Alstom’s parlous financial state. Siemens will not be able to integrate the small turbines business until the completion of the final review by the EC.

This story was first revealed on www.thelawyer .com/lawyernews on 30 April.