Slaughters and Shepherd & Wedderburn advise on Wolfson’s £291m buyout by Cirrus

A raft of firms, including Slaughter and May and Shepherd & Wedderburn, have lined up to advise on Wolfson Microelectronics on its acquisition by Texas-based Cirrus Logic.

The recommended cash offer values the Edinburgh audio chipmaker stands at around £291m, and will be effected by a scheme of arrangement run through the Scottish courts. 

Slaughter and May is advising first-time client Cirrus Logic on its acquisition, while Vinson & Elkins has stepped in to deal with US aspects, and Burness Paull on Scottish law. 

Shepherd & Wedderburn is the sole firm to step up to the plate for Edinburgh-based business Wolfson Microelectronics, with corporate partner Michael Wylie taking the lead. 

Slaughters’ has fielded a team led by incumbent corporate chief Frances Murphy, who is set to step down from the leadership role on 1 May to be replaced by Andy Ryde (5 March 2014). Murphy was assisted by associates Lauren Fahy and Catherine Rutter. The team also included financing partner Philip Snell, supported by associate Sarah John. Competition partner-elect Anna Lyle-Smythe was assisted by associate Schweta Batohi, while partner Jonathan Fenn helped out with pensions issues. 

Vinson & Elkins’ team was led by Texas-based corporate securities partner Bill Volk, and City corporate partners Robert Dixon and Francois Feuillat. Associates Shaun Mathew and Michael Gibson assisted from Texas. Meanwhile, Burness Paull fielded corporate partner Peter Lawson and associate Edward Hunter. 

Background to this deal 

Wolfson Microelectronics manufactures audio microchips used in consumer products, such as smartphones and tablet computers. The company, which was spun out from the University of Edinburgh in 1984, was once considered British high-tech champion alongside ARM and Imagination. 

Wolfson was once audio processor supplier for the iPhone, but Apple opted to replace the firm for Cirrus Logic in 2008. 

Shepherd & Wedderburn is the go-to firm of the Edinburgh-based business, having previously advised on deals such as its £2.9m acquisition of Oligon in 2007. 

Cirrus Logic has had close ties to Vinson & Elkins for more than a decade. The firm has proved to be the business’ chosen adviser on both corporate and litigation matters. However, its decision to instruct Slaughter & May marks a new client relationship for the UK firm.