Transactions UK

  • February 08, 2024

    Microsoft Calls FTC Activision Layoff Worries 'Misleading'

    Microsoft on Thursday criticized the Federal Trade Commission's "incomplete and misleading" assertion that the company's plan to lay off 1,900 video game workers undercuts its claim that Activision Blizzard Inc. would be maintained as an independent business while the commission challenges the gaming company's $68.7 billion acquisition.

  • February 08, 2024

    EU Updates Longstanding Guidance On Defining Markets

    Europe's competition enforcer released new guidance on Thursday for how the agency views the markets at issue when assessing merger and antitrust conduct cases, the first update to the policy since its adoption more than two decades ago.

  • February 08, 2024

    Fund Sells $3B In Oil Biz Shares Over Slow Climate Action

    One of the Netherlands' largest pension funds has sold all its shares in companies including BP, Shell and TotalEnergies for a total of roughly €2.8 billion ($3 billion), saying Thursday that the oil and gas giants have failed to move away from fossil fuels quickly enough.

  • February 08, 2024

    UK Provisionally Clears Whirlpool, Arcelik Appliances Merger

    The antitrust authority of the U.K. on Thursday provisionally cleared Whirlpool Corp.'s plan to merge its European domestic appliance business with Arcelik AS' that will create a giant company with expected combined sales of €6 billion ($6.3 billion).

  • February 08, 2024

    London SPAC Hiro Metaverse Cancels Listing

    Hiro Metaverse said Thursday that it has successfully canceled the listing of its shares on the London Stock Exchange, ending the two-year journey of the blank-check company as it could not acquire a business before the deadline of Feb. 7.

  • February 08, 2024

    Fox Williams Hires Fintech Partner From Deloitte

    Fox Williams LLP has hired specialist tech and fintech partner Chris Hill to its London office from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd.

  • February 08, 2024

    Unilever Plans €1.5B Buyback After 'Disappointing' Results

    Unilever PLC said on Thursday it will launch a share buyback worth up to €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion), as the maker of Dove soap posted a mixed financial performance over the full year of 2023.

  • February 08, 2024

    SocGen To Launch €280M Share Buyback Program

    Societe Generale said Thursday it plans to reward investors through a share buyback scheme worth around €280 million ($300 million), but also reported a sharp drop in profit in the final three months of 2023.

  • February 08, 2024

    Aviva's £460M AIG Life UK Takeover Gets Competition Probe

    The Competition and Markets Authority said on Thursday it has launched an investigation into Aviva PLC's planned all-cash acquisition of the U.K. protection business of AIG Life Ltd. for £460 million ($580 million).

  • February 07, 2024

    FTC Says Layoff Shows Microsoft Will Control Activision

    The Federal Trade Commission, which is appealing a district court's refusal to block the $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, told the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday that a plan to lay off 1,900 video game workers undercuts assertions of an independent post-deal Activision.

  • February 07, 2024

    REIT Raises $672M IPO At Low End While Insurer Pulls Plans

    Senior housing real estate investment trust American Healthcare REIT Inc. rose in debut trading Wednesday after pricing a $672 million initial public offering at the bottom of its range, while insurer The Fortegra Group Inc. canceled its offering given market conditions, revealing mixed signals about the nascent IPO recovery.

  • February 07, 2024

    Bank Shareholders Lose Claim Against Diamond's Atlas Mara

    A London court on Wednesday rejected claims from ex-shareholders of Finance Bank of Zambia that former Barclays PLC chief executive Bob Diamond's African financial services group breached a multimillion-dollar agreement to acquire the Zambian bank.

  • February 07, 2024

    Australian Energy Cos. Woodside, Santos Cancel Merger Talks

    Australian energy companies Woodside and Santos said Wednesday that they had called off talks to merge, ending for now the possibility of forming a $52 billion energy giant by combining the companies.

  • February 07, 2024

    Sainsbury's Readies £200M Buyback To Reward Shareholders

    Grocery giant Sainsbury's said on Wednesday that it will launch a £200 million ($250 million) share buyback program as it announced a three-year plan to save £1 billion and make the business more competitive.

  • February 07, 2024

    Norway's Storebrand Begins $38M Buyback Program

    Norwegian financial services company Storebrand said Wednesday that it will buy back up to 400 million kroner ($38 million) worth of its shares to return surplus capital to its shareholders after reporting strong financial results.

  • February 07, 2024

    Equinor To Start $1.2B Initial Tranche Of Buyback

    Energy giant Equinor said Wednesday it will roll out the first tranche of up to $1.2 billion of its new share buyback program, as it reported a knock back in its earnings.

  • February 07, 2024

    Pinsent Masons Guides Redx In $880M Cancer Drug Sale

    Biotechnology company Redx Pharma PLC on Wednesday said that it has agreed to sell global rights for further development of a cancer-fighting program to Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC for up to $880 million in a deal guided by Pinsent Masons LLP.

  • February 07, 2024

    Helium Producer Raises £4.7M For Tanzania Projects

    Helium One Global Ltd. said Wednesday it has raised £4.7 million ($5.9 million) by issuing new shares to investors, a move it believes will give it the financial muscle to advance its projects in Tanzania.

  • February 07, 2024

    Sullivan & Cromwell-Led KfW Sells €2.2B Deutsche Post Stake

    Germany's KfW bank said it has sold 4% of its stake in Deutsche Post AG, the worldwide courier and logistics giant, as it looks to take advantage of recent strong performance in equity markets.

  • February 07, 2024

    White & Case Hires Debt Finance Pro From Shearman

    White & Case LLP has bolstered its global debt finance practice by hiring Lauren Winter as a new partner from Shearman & Sterling LLP.

  • February 07, 2024

    Linklaters, Slaughter & May Guide £2.5B UK Builders' Merger

    Barratt Developments PLC said on Wednesday that it will acquire Redrow PLC in an all-share offer that values the rival homebuilder at £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) in a move it said will accelerate the construction of homes in Britain.

  • February 06, 2024

    Brown & Brown Acquires Insurance Broker Stewart & Partners

    Insurance broker Brown & Brown (Europe) Ltd. said Tuesday it has bought 100% of the shares of Oxlea Investments Ltd., trading as Stewart & Partners, in a deal that will allow Brown & Brown to expand its range of products.

  • February 06, 2024

    BP Plans $3.5B Buyback After Reporting $13.8B Profit

    British oil and gas supermajor BP PLC said Tuesday that it plans to line shareholder pockets with $3.5 billion in the first half of 2024 after reporting a $13.8 billion profit for 2023, its second highest in over a decade.

  • February 06, 2024

    EU Securities Watchdog To Get New ESG Rating Powers

    The European Union's securities watchdog will gain new powers to regulate environmental, social and governance ratings providers under rules agreed by EU lawmakers.

  • February 06, 2024

    Burges Salmon Guides Insurance Co. In £72M Pension Deal

    DAS Insurance has offloaded £72 million ($90 million) of its employee pension liabilities to Canada Life, in a deal steered by Burges Salmon LLP.

Expert Analysis

  • Growing EU Scrutiny Increases Hurdles For Foreign Investors

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    The application of the EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation from July will bring further oversight to many large deals, and together with bolt-on strategies, foreign investment regulation and antitrust enforcement, financial sponsors will need to start planning for compliance to avoid potential delays, say Anna Mitchell and Neil Hoolihan at Linklaters.

  • How The New UK Digital Markets Bill Will Affect CMA's Powers

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    The highly anticipated U.K. Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill sets out far-reaching changes in terms of merger control and conduct requirements, but some are skeptical of the Competition and Markets Authority’s enhanced powers and potential for divergence in treatment between firms, say Ben Chivers, Stephen Whitfield ​​​​​​​and Nigel Seay at Travers Smith.

  • M&A Considerations For European Cos. Acquiring US Entities

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    As investment banks forecast a resurgence of mergers and acquisitions later this year, European companies seeking to acquire U.S. businesses should be aware of key procedural differences and federal regulatory requirements that will affect the process, timing and terms of the transaction, say attorneys at Mintz.

  • A Review Of The EU FDI Screening Regulation And Its Scope

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    The EU advocate general’s recent broad interpretation of the EU Foreign Direct Investment Screening Regulation takes account of some of the geopolitical challenges faced by the bloc, and may foreshadow a revision of the regulation and widen the scope of investments screened, say Vassilis Akritidis and Jean-Baptiste Blancardi at Crowell & Moring.

  • Key Takeaways From EU Proposal For Greenwashing Rules

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    If the proposal for a Green Claims Directive, with its enhanced rules on claims about a product or trader's environmental impact, is adopted, it will affect all businesses selling their products in the EU and bring major changes to the way those products are packaged and advertised, say attorneys at Shearman.

  • UK Investment Screening Inches Closer To US Regime

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    The recent agreement between the U.K. Cabinet Office and House of Commons concerning parliamentary scrutiny of the Investment Security Unit represents a step toward greater transparency of intervention in investments that may raise national security concerns, and underscores increasing alignment with the U.S. regime, say attorneys at Hogan Lovells.

  • UK Ruling Offers Useful Guidance To Insolvency Practitioners

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    The recent U.K. High Court ruling in a matter involving Sova Capital represents the first unsecured credit bid to be approved by an English court, demonstrating a pragmatic approach to complex sanctions-related administrations and identifying a novel solution for insolvency practitioners to maximize value for the benefit of creditors, say attorneys at Katten.

  • Opinion

    Thomas Report Is Final Straw — High Court Needs Ethics Code

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    As a recent report on Justice Clarence Thomas' ongoing conflicts of interest makes evident, Supreme Court justices should be subject to an enforceable and binding code of ethics — like all other federal judges — to maintain the credibility of the institution, says Erica Salmon Byrne at Ethisphere.

  • Ofwat's New Guidance For Water Projects: Key Takeaways

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    While increased competition is a laudable aim, the U.K. Water Services Regulation Authority's introduction of direct procurement for customers by default for projects above a size threshold could have ramifications for the financial stability of the companies delivering major water infrastructure, say Jennifer Charles and Marianne Anton at Watson Farley.

  • Court Ruling Strengthens EU Stance On Non-Notifiable M&A

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    The recent European Union Court of Justice's decision in Towercast can be seen as part of a pattern of increasingly rigorous scrutiny of M&A, and provides scope for greater intervention by national competition authorities on acquisitions by dominant companies that do not meet the EU or national merger control thresholds for notification, say attorneys at Herbert Smith.

  • How Changes To 'Acting In Concert' Will Affect UK Takeovers

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    The recent changes made to the rules by the U.K. Takeover Panel on who is presumed to be acting in concert will be of most interest to parties proposing to make a bid for a U.K. listed company, and give welcome clarity as to how the U.K. takeover regime operates, say attorneys at Herbert Smith.

  • Key Points In Draft EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation

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    The draft implementing regulation on EU foreign subsidy control provides eagerly awaited guidance on the submission of mandatory notifications, but there are still many open questions, say Paul van den Berg and Merit Olthoff at Freshfields.

  • ClientEarth Claim May Expand Scope Of Directors' Duties

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    In using litigation to hold Shell’s board of directors to account for failing to properly prepare for the net-zero transition, ClientEarth’s actions represent a shift in climate change activism strategy and an unprecedented application of directors’ duties as a mechanism to drive change, say Marlene Henderson and Danielle De Val at Browne Jacobson.

  • Volatile Energy Prices Complicate Int'l Arbitration Damages

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    In the turbulent global energy market, international arbitration is a crucial tool for resolving cross-border disputes — but determining how, if at all, to account for recent energy price spikes when quantifying damages presents many challenges for tribunals, say attorneys at White & Case.

  • A Breakdown Of The SRA's Proposed New Fining Powers

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    Thanks to the Solicitors Regulation Authority's pending new fining framework, which includes guidance on unsuitable fines and a fixed penalties scheme for low-level breaches, firms can expect to see more disciplinary findings leading to an SRA fine rather than referral to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, say Graham Reid and Shanice Holder at RPC.

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