Slaughters sides with Taylor Woodrow for £5bn mega-merger

Slaughter and May had to decide to back Taylor Woodrow rather than George Wimpey in the £5bn merger announced today between the two housebuilders.

The combination will create the UK’s largest housebuilder.

Both companies are historically Slaughters clients, with corporate and commercial partner Jeff Twentyman managing the relationship for Taylor Woodrow and Kathryn Davis client-relationship partner for Wimpey.

Wimpey looked instead to Clifford Chance, with corporate partner Guy Norman leading the team. Norman also led advice to Wimpey on its unsuccessful bid earlier this year for rival Wilson Bowden, a Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer client.

The victor in that £2.13bn battle, Barratt, is also a Slaughters client (see The Lawyer, 5 February).

JP Morgan Cazenove is sole financial adviser to Wimpey, with Hoare Govett as joint broker.

UBS is financial adviser and joint broker to Taylor Woodrow, with Morgan Stanley as joint financial adviser and joint broker.

The merger is expected to create cost-savings at the combined group of up to £70m annually, and both companies have promised to pay the other £24.5m should they enter into talks with other parties.