As we approach training contract interview season, commercial firms will want to see that applicants know what is going on in the city. Here is an overview of some of the corporate deals that major firms have been working on recently.
Allen & Overy has been advising Asahi on their biggest overseas acquisition of AB Inbev’s Australian operations. Asahi is a Japanese soft drink and brewery company based in Tokyo. They have made a deal to acquire the World’s largest brewer, the Australian arm of Anheuser- Busch InBev,for $11.3 billion. Anheuser- Busch is a Belgian multinational drink and brewing company operating globally. The team advising Asahi included partners from both London and Sydney based corporate M&A partners. A & O has worked previously with Asahi on an acquisition of SAB Miller’s former operations across Europe in 2016-2017. SAB Miller was another multinational brewing and beverage company from Belgium. At the time SAB Miller was the world’s second largest brewer by revenue, operating in over 80 countries worldwide. This emphasizes the vast commercial growth of Asahi over the past few years. As partner on the team Matthew Appleton commented they are proud move again to have been a part of Asahi’s rapid growth, furthering their presence in the global market. This reiterates both the experience and success of the A & O team in acquisition matters.
Further, A & O in London has been involved in advising Froneri on the acquisition of Noga Ice Creams Limited Partnership, part of the Nestle owned business Osem group. This acquisition will result in the ice cream business entering Israel for the first time. Froneri is the second largest manufacturer of ice cream in Europe: third in the world and the largest private label producer worldwide. Froneri is present in over twenty countries with revenues over 2.6bill euros. As a global leading ice cream business it was created in 2016 by the joint venture of PAI partners and Nestle. This deal also means that all the nestle Europe, Middle East and North Africa ice cream businesses will become a part of the Froneri Group. Peter banks a partner of the London office, specialising in private and equity and an Associate Caroline Crawford with assistance from Israeli legal advice contributed to this deal.
White & Case has advised Basalt Infrastructure Partners, an infrastructure investment firm, on the acquisition of Blatzhein Networks Telecom (a full-service telecommunications provider with its own broadband network based in Bonn) and SOCO Network Solutions (a leading network operator in rural areas of the Dueren region). Basalt are aiming to develop their telecom portfolio targeting Germany in this sector. The London office was a part of a five-office team assisting them with their first deal in Germany. Marcus Booth a partner (Dubai/ London) led the deal, assisting Basalt with their second deal, after their previous acquisition of Comax. Other London involved team members include partner Michael Mountain and associate Ben von Maur. The deal resulted in a significant growth for Basalt commercially, who are hoping to develop the future German fibre market. This acquisition price was not disclosed.
DWF has recently advised a virtual reality specialist, Immotion Group plc on its £2.35million secondary fundraise on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. This is a global business present in Dubai, Los Angeles and Manchester. They provide services to household entertainment attractions including Legoland and Sealife. This is not the first encounter DWF has been with Immotion Group. They were involved previously with its IPO (initial public offering) on AIM in July 2018 and a secondary fundraise in March earlier this year.
An IPO or initial public offering occurs when a company needs assistance financially to grow and therefore goes public. This sees a privately held company selling stock to outside investors and thus becoming a public company. A secondary fundraise occurs when a company has already gone public raises more funds from either original or new backers. These are risky, requiring the demonstration of growth and opportunity for the business.
This fundraising was an accelerated book build, meaning the offering occurs in a short period of time. This will be used to fund areas of Immotions’ ‘edutainment’ destinations such as aquaria, zoos, science centres and museums. This matter was led by UK corporate team partner Jeremy Swift alongside solicitor Siobhan Cameron. They commented that they were pleased with their advice on another successful fundraise, hoping to provide key investment to accelerate global growth in this exciting market. The Immotion group CEO is pleased with the strategic legal advice supporting them on their growing journey.
Slaughter and May has advised INEOS, a leading chemical company regarding its acquisition of OGC Nice football club. It has been reported that this offer was worth £88.77m. INEOS has become known for the sponsorship of key sporting teams, including Swiss football club Lausanne which it acquired in 2017. The rebranding of British cycling team (previously known as team Sky), and Ben Ainslie team UK’s America’s Cup challenge. Slaughter and May, worked with Bredin Prat (a French law firm), advising INEOS on its acquisition of Ligue 1 football club, OGC Nice. Bredin supported INEOS’s internal legal team Jonny Ginns, Dan Lawrie and Andrew Hogan on this deal. This acquisition was completed on 26 August 2019.