Freshfields and Hogan lead on Ford’s £1bn Volvo exit

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Hogan & Hartson have bagged lead roles in Ford’s sale of its Volvo business to China’s Zheijang Geely Holding Group for $1.8bn (£1.21bn).

Hogan’s European M&A chief William Curtin led the team acting for longstanding client Ford on the transaction.

Freshfields, meanwhile, picked up the mandate for new client Geely, with a multi-jurisdictional team led by London corporate partner Chris Bown and fellow corporate partners Jack Wang in Beijing,  Teresa Ko in Hong Kong and Tim Wilkins in new York. London partner Avril Martindale advised on IP issues.

Bown hailed the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter pending regulatory approval, as a “landmark” and “a shot in the arm for the automotive market”.

He added: “It’s very exciting as this is the first headline brand acquisition by a privately-owned Chinese company and there’s clearly a huge amount of interest in it.

“I’m sure this is the beginning of a wave of acquisitions by Chinese companies.”

Swedish firm Cederquist advised Geely on Swedish law, with Peter Wirell leading. Ford turned to Mannheimer Swartling for Swedish advice.