Sullivan and Wachtell advise on $3.7bn US bank takeover

Sullivan and Cromwell and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz have won roles advising on one of the biggest US bank acquisitions of the year as Buffalo-based M&T Bank agreed to buy smaller rival Hudson City.

Rodgin Cohen
Rodgin Cohen

The planned acquisition, which will allow M&T Bank to bolster its presence across America’s East Coast, has been pegged by analysts as one of the largest M&A bank deals since the financial crisis in 2008. Based on the closing price of M&T stock last Friday (24 August), the transaction is valued at approximately $3.7bn (£2.3bn).

Wall Street firm Wachtell served as legal adviser to M&T Bank, around 4 per cent of which is owned by US businessman Warren Buffett’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway. The team was led by executive committee co-chairman Edward Herlihy and corporate partner Lawrence Makow. Tax partner Joshua Holmes advised on tax aspects of the deal.

US rival Sullivan advised Hudson City, fielding a team led by senior chairman Rodgin Cohen and financial institutions partner Andrew Gerlach. Both are based in New York.

The deal announcement was followed by reports of share surges for both companies when markets opened.

Background to this deal:

M&T Bank and Wachtell have worked together for a number of years, with Herlihy advising the bank on a deal with Wilmington Trust Corp in 2010, fielding the same team it used on M&T’s 2008 acquisition of Provident Bankshares.

The latest deal represents a first-time instruction for Sullivan from Hudson City.