Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has taken the lead role for longstanding client Severn Trent on a potential bid from a Canadian, Kuwaiti and UK consortium reportedly valuing the target at £5bn.
Canadian pension fund Borealis Infrastructure Management, the Kuwait Investment Office and Liverpool-based Universities Superannuation Scheme today (14 May) confirmed an approach to the FTSE 100 water group’s board with a view to making a possible cash offer for its entire share capital.
HSF City corporate partners Stephen Wilkinson and Robert Moore are acting for Severn Trent, with the consortium advised by Allen & Overy corporate partner Richard Evans.
The prospective bidders, advised by Deutsche Bank, are required by Takeover Code rules to announce a firm intention to make an offer or pull out by 5pm on 11 June.
Severn Trent said in a statement: This approach is at a very early stage, no proposal has been made and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made.”
Background to this deal:
Severn Trent is an established client of legacy Herbert Smith, with Wilkinson the primary relationship partner. He advised the group on its takeover of East Worcester Water in 1993, its £141m acquisition of RMC Group’s Hales Waste business in 2003 and the demerger from Biffa in 2006.