Travers nets hat trick with Derby deal

Travers Smith has landed its third top flight football takeover in two years, acting on the acquisition of Derby County FC.

The firm advised US marketing company General Sports and Entertainment (GSE) on the acquisition of the club in a deal thought to be worth around £25million.

Travers corporate finance partner Philip Cheveley said the firm’s football experience had helped it secure the Derby deal, adding: “It’s not something we’ve targeted but it is something we’ve enjoyed doing and something we’d be happy to do more of.

“The Premier League and global football industry is quite small in some respects and your name does get about.”

Derby County’s shareholders were advised by David Kaplan of Flint Bishop Solicitors and Andrew Borkowski of Geldards.

GSE reached an agreement with the eight individuals who had significant shareholdings to take a 93 per cent stake in the club.

In August 2006 it joined Arnold & Porter to represent Randy Lerner in his £62.6m takeover of Aston Villa. The club was advised by Hammonds. Later in the year, Travers helped Eggert Magnusson’s WH Holding buy West Ham United for £85m. West Ham were advised by Herbert Smith.

The firm has continued its relationship with West Ham, representing the club in the furore over the signing of Argentine stars Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, as well as carrying out corporate property and commercial work.