Allen & Overy and Freshfields lead as Virgin Money buys Northern Rock

Allen & Overy (A&O) and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer both had key roles advising on Virgin Money’s acquisition of nationalised bank Northern Rock, with the deal officially unveiled this morning.

Virgin Money will pay £747m for Northern Rock – the ’good half’ of the bank that includes its 75 branches – creating an entity with four million customers. According to reports, Virgin Money has agreed to make no compulsory redundancies for three years as part of the deal.

The deal was funded by an investment consortium led by Virgin Group Limited and WL Ross & Co.

A&O advised Virgin Money, led by global corporate head Andrew Ballheimer. Corporate partners David Broadley and George Knighton also advised.

Freshfields advised Northern Rock, with corporate partner Barry O’Brien leading on the deal assisted by global head of the finance Alan Newton.

Herbert Smith, led by M&A partner Gavin Davies also had a role advising Greenhills, Virgin Money’s financial adviser.

Jones Day advised WL Ross & Co. M&A partner Leon Ferera led on the deal, assisted by finance partner Tim Flood, anti trust partner Frances Murphy and tax partner Blaise Marin-Curtoud.