Freshfields and Norton Rose advise P&O

City giants Norton Rose and Freshfields are acting for shipping group P&O in its plan to spin off its fast-growing cruise business.

The move will create the world’s third largest cruise company, after Carnival and Royal Caribbean, with stock market listings in London and New York.

The company has announced that it wants to get rid of the cruise arm, which some say could be worth as much as £6bn.

Freshfields has been advising the company on corporate issues surrounding the split, while Norton Rose is working on the financing aspects of the deal.

The team at Freshfields is being led by corporate finance partner Mark Rawlinson, who is working alongside five other partners.

The team at Norton Rose is understood to be led by finance partner Gordon Hall.

Corporate manager at Freshfields Bruce Embley says: “We have got a long- standing relationship with P&O, and this is a big deal for them.”

Norton Rose has also acted for the company in the past. In October last year it advised on the surprise £285m sale of the company’s construction arm Bovis to Lend Lease corporation.

Freshfields acted for the company on the sale of the Earl’s Court and Olympia exhibition venues for £183m in the same month.