Herbert Smith and Stibbe beat magic circle to win Tom Tom IPO

Magic circle firms Allen & Overy (A&O) and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer lost out to Herbert Smith and its Dutch best friend Stibbe in a pitch for the E540m (£364.8m) IPO of satellite navigation provider Tom Tom.

The instruction from Amsterdam-based Tom Tom was a first for Herbert Smith and Stibbe. They won the work over four firms including A&O and Freshfields. The IPO was the largest in the Netherlands in the past five years. It confirmed the cross-border capability of Herbert Smith and Stibbe’s Anglo-Dutch finance practice, as it entailed a Dutch listing to retail and institutional investors, and an international offering to institutional investors in the US under section 144A.

Alexander Ribbink, director of Tom Tom said: “We chose Herbert Smith and Stibbe as they are the IPO leaders in the Dutch market, on account of their depth of local knowledge, and their US/UK capability. Derk Lemstra and Alex Bafi also have outstanding legal and commercial skills.”

Stibbe equity capital markets (ECM) partner Lemstra said: “Our international ECM team combined in-depth US law ECM experience with the expertise necessary to float Tom Tom internationally.”

Herbert Smith ECM partner Alex Bafi added: “We had to combine due diligence and drafting the prospectus with Dutch law issues in order to get a legal opinion.”

Goldman Sachs International and Lehman Brothers acted as global coordinators and joint bookrunners and were advised by Sullivan & Cromwell and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek.

Lemstra began his career at Stibbe in 1992 and was made partner in 1999. He will be moving to Herbert Smith’s London office later this year.

Bafi has been a corporate partner at Herbert Smith since 2001. Prior to this he was at Davis Polk in New York, Paris and London.