Simmons boosts Barclays link with ShopSmart acquisition

Simmons & Simmons is advising IndigoSquare, the joint venture between Barclays and Nomura International, on its acquisition of

IndigoSquare is an online shopping portal; the ShopSmart website allows customers to compare prices of products and services that are available on the internet.

IndigoSquare has already received agreement to accept the offer from the ShopSmart board and key shareholders, which when combined own around 72.5 per cent of the company’s share capital.

The remaining shareholders have 28 days from 3 April to accept the offer. How much the deal is worth has not been disclosed.

Simmons won a competitive pitch to take on all of Indigo-Square’s commercial work at the end of last year. But ShopSmart is the first corporate transaction the firm has handled for IndigoSquare. It had previously advised on a range of commercial matters, including intellectual property (IP), and had tendered only on this basis.

The deal further consolidates Simmons’ growing relationship with Barclays. Last year it won several places on the bank’s dramatically overhauled panel. The firm also provided competition advice on Barclays’ purchase of the Woolwich Building Society last August.

Corporate partner Alan Karter, who led the IndigoSquare deal with partner Sarah Bowles, aims to continue consolidating the firm’s relationship with Barclays. “It’s very important for us to win our spurs with Barclays so that we can build towards doing their corporate work,” he says.

Bowles has recently completed a five-month secondment at Barclays. Karter says this has already given them an edge. “It’s about building trust, and once they get comfortable with Sarah, they have a partner they can trust; and then she has the opportunity to introduce people like me,” he says.

The IndigoSquare client partner is IP and e-commerce lawyer Jeremy Morton, who led the competitive tender in December.

ShopSmart has instructed Ashurst Morris Crisp.