Allen & Overy (A&O), Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett have won lead mandates on the proposed acquisition of Sky by 21st Century Fox.

The international film and television giant has made a bid to take full control of Sky, valuing it at £18.5bn.

A&O advised 21st Century Fox on the M&A, competition and regulatory aspects of the bid, led by partners Antonio Bavasso, David Broadley, Seth Jones and Simon Toms.

Skadden partner Howard Ellin advised the acquirer on the corporate aspect, while Simpson Thacher partner Patrick Ryan advised on financing.

Herbert Smith Freehills is understood to be advising the target, Sky, although the firm would not confirm its instruction.

Deutsche Bank, which is acting as lead financial adviser to 21st Century Fox, was advised by Ashurst. The firm’s team was led by partners Adrian Clark, Robert Ogilvy Watson and Tim Rennie.

21st Century Fox currently owns 39.1 per cent of Sky and it has long been speculated in the City that it would seek to buy full control.

The studio is a longstanding client of A&O’s, with the UK firm also advising on the $9.3bn sale of Sky Italia and the sale of a 57.4 per cent stake in Sky Deutschland to BSkyB.

Meanwhile Skadden is also representing 21st Century Fox in connection with its proposed combination with Time Warner.