Slaughters joins Sullivan and Paul Weiss on Countrywide IPO

City lawyers from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Slaughter and May and Sullivan & Cromwell and have landed key roles on the IPO of UK estate agency Countrywide.

Richard Smith
Richard Smith

Slaughters won a competitive pitch for the work, leading to the firm instructing the London office of Paul Weiss to advise Countrywide alongside them for US law. Although a UK company, Countrywide’s largest shareholder is American private equity group Oaktree Capital, while its second largest shareholder is US buyout fund Apollo management.

Sullivan is advising the banks, which include Goldman Sachs, Jefferies and Credit Suisse, led by London-based corporate partner Tim Emmerson and corporate finance partner David Rockwell, who represents non-US companies and financial institutions in connection with corporate finance and M&A.

The Slaughters team is led by London-based corporate partners Jeff Twentyman and Richard Smith. Other partners in the team include financing partner Ed Fife, financial regulation partner Ruth Fox, pensions and employment partner Roland Doughty and tax partner Graham Iversen.

Meanwhile, a team at the London office of Paul Weiss, which is advising on US law, is led by head of the firm’s global capital markets and securities practice Mark Bergman. He is being supported by corporate associate Patricia Vaz de Almeida, who is also based in London.

Background to this deal:

Slaughters advised US buyout fund Apollo management on its acquisition of Countrywide in 2007, work which led to the firm advising Castle Holdco, the holding company for Countrywide, ahead of a second takeover in 2009 (25 February 2009). The company had been in negotiations about its debt for several weeks, leading to creditors putting forward a proposal that saw control of the company pass to American private equity group Oaktree.

For the latest mandate, Slaughters won a competitive pitch for the work, leading to the firm instructing Paul Weiss to advise Countrywide on US law.