Transactions UK

  • February 12, 2024

    Ashurst, DM Steer Warehousing REIT's £924M Bid For UKCM

    Warehousing giant Tritax Big Box PLC said Monday that it has agreed to acquire UK Commercial Property REIT Ltd. in an all-share offer in an approximately £924 million ($1.2 billion) deal guided by Ashurst LLP and Dickson Minto.

  • February 12, 2024

    Norton Rose-Led Energy Biz To Buy Solar Co. For Up To £14M

    Renewable energy provider Good Energy said on Monday it has agreed to buy out solar panel specialist JPS for up to £13.75 million ($17.35 million) to help its plans for growth in the south of the U.K.

  • February 12, 2024

    Autonomy Founder Must Pay $4B Over Sale Fraud, HP Says

    Hewlett Packard asked a London court on Monday to order the founder of Autonomy and his chief financial officer to pay more than $4 billion in damages after they fraudulently inflated their technology firm's value before its $11 billion sale.

  • February 12, 2024

    Retail Biz Frasers Group Kicks Off New £80M Share Buyback

    Frasers Group PLC said on Monday it will launch a new share repurchase scheme worth up to £80 million ($100 million) as it looks to cut back the size of its outstanding capital.

  • February 12, 2024

    French Music Label Tunes In To €1.5B Bid From Founder

    French digital music label Believe SA said Monday that it has been handed a €1.46 billion ($1.57 billion) offer by an investment consortium that includes its founder to take the company off the French stock exchange.

  • February 09, 2024

    Insurer Liable For Exploiting Business Before Merger

    A motor industry insurer exploited an opportunity to provide warranties to a car dealership at the expense of the warranty provider that made the introduction during ill-fated merger talks, a London court ruled Friday.

  • February 09, 2024

    DWF, RPC, Gowling Steer Biotech Biz's £5.1M Deal For SPAC

    British biotechnology company Belluscura PLC said Friday that it has completed all the conditions required for a complete takeover of blank-check company TMT Acquisition PLC after it listed nearly 25 million of its shares on the London Stock Exchange.

  • February 09, 2024

    UK Litigation Roundup: Here's What You Missed In London

    This past week in London has seen a Saudi Arabian property investor file legal action against RLS Solicitors, Aspire Pharma and Bayer Intellectual Property tackle a patent dispute, the owners of soccer club West Ham United FC raise a red card against E20 Stadium LLP with a commercial fraud action, and accountants BDO file another commercial claim against the managing directors of KGJ Insurance Services. Here, Law360 looks at these and other new claims in the U.K.

  • February 09, 2024

    Simmons & Simmons Adds Debt Capital Markets Pro

    Simmons & Simmons has recruited a retail bonds specialist from Linklaters, in a move which the firm said will strengthen its debt capital markets practice in London.

  • February 09, 2024

    French IT Biz To Take Over Tech Consultancy For €170M

    Groupe SNEF said Friday it has agreed to buy a controlling stake in Visiativ, a French technology consultant, for €170.1 million ($183.8 million), as the IT engineering and project manager looks to bolster its digital division.

  • February 09, 2024

    French Biotech Biz Sensorion Raises €50.5M In Shares Sale

    French biotechnology company Sensorion said on Friday that it has raised €50.5 million ($54.4 million) by selling new shares to specialist investors in a move to help it develop its therapies aimed at preventing and treating hearing loss.

  • February 09, 2024

    Danish Transport Biz DFDS Announces $62M Share Buyback

    DFDS AS said on Friday that it will launch a share buyback of up to 431 million Danish kroner ($62.3 million), in a move guided by Danish law firm Gorrissen Federspiel, as it reported a rise in revenue.

  • February 09, 2024

    Dentons, White & Case Guide Airline In $370M London IPO

    Air Astana conducted its initial public offering on the London and Kazakhstan stock exchanges on Friday, achieving a value of approximately $847 million and conditionally raising up to $370 million in an oversubscribed offering, $70 million more than it expected.

  • February 09, 2024

    Barclays Agrees To Buy Tesco Banking Unit For £600M

    Barclays said on Friday that it has agreed to buy the retail banking arm of the Tesco PLC supermarket chain for £600 million ($757 million) in a transaction in which it was guided by Hogan Lovells and Slaughter and May.

  • February 08, 2024

    BioNTech Puts $200M Into Collab With Cancer Biotech Autolus

    German immunotherapy company BioNTech will inject $200 million into cancer-focused biotechnology firm Autolus Therapeutics PLC as part of a strategic collaboration announced Thursday.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • Merger Ruling Shows Risk Of Not Seeking Prior CMA Approval

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    The recent decision by the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority to unwind the acquisition by Cerelia Group of Jus-Rol demonstrates that despite the voluntary nature of the U.K. reporting regime, parties may wish to consider the potential for wider scrutiny when deciding whether to seek merger control clearance, say attorneys at Hogan Lovells.

  • Warranty & Indemnity Insurance Considerations For M&A

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    With increased competition and greater capacity leading to lower premiums and deal costs, warranty and indemnity insurance is now available to the wider M&A market, and may help to limit risk and help parties focus on other key elements of the transaction, says Alice Wooler at Birketts.

  • What The Dignity Takeover Deal Says About M&A Trends

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    While some public companies may prefer to go private to maximize company growth and shareholder returns, there are potential pitfalls and in the current uncertain economic climate pairing up between private equity and public entities is likely to increase, as evidenced by the recent Dignity takeover deal, says James Lyons at Lawrence Stephens.

  • How Geopolitical Change Is Affecting M&A Activity In Europe

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    Several factors are leading businesses to divest from Russia and invest in central and Eastern European EU member states, with particular sectors attractive to U.K. companies and certain trends in M&A transactional activity emerging, says Oksana Howard at Colman Coyle.

  • Discovery Blocking Reform Better Protects French Companies

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    The 2022 reforms to France's 1968 blocking statute gives French companies more tools to resist abusive discovery requests from foreign competitors and public agencies, but France should do more to defend confidential information and assert its sovereignty, says Raphael Gauvain at Betto Perben.

  • A Look At New Vertical Laws, Their Opportunities And Pitfalls

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    Looking at trends that have gained the most traction under the new vertical laws in the EU and U.K., it is clear that brands should use the transition period wisely, ensuring that lessons have been learned on what to avoid and that go-to-market strategies are future-proof, say attorneys at K&L Gates.

  • Why 2023 Could Be The Year Of The Restructuring Plan

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    As U.K. businesses face a challenging economic environment going into 2023, the stage may be set for a rise in restructuring plans, with early signs such as an increasing body of case law, the pragmatic approach taken by the judiciary to date and the cross-class cramdown mechanism, say Rachael Markham and Charlotte Møller at Squire Patton.

  • How Mur Ruling May Affect Force Majeure Considerations

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    The recent U.K. Court of Appeal decision in Mur Shipping v. RTI demonstrates that exercising reasonable endeavors can include payment in an alternative currency to overcome a force majeure event, and is topical for contracting parties in light of Russia-related sanctions, say attorneys at Debevoise.

  • ECJ Fiat Ruling Sets Clear Boundaries For EU State Aid Law

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    The European Court of Justice's recent landmark decision in Fiat v. Commission limiting the commission’s attempts to circumvent the lack of EU powers in the area of tax law has important implications in EU state aid law and beyond, say Andreas Reindl and Pietro Stella at Van Bael.

  • Cos. Can Expect Intense Antitrust Enforcement This Year

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    In 2023, authorities in the U.K. and Europe are expected to push the boundaries of antitrust enforcement, merger control and foreign investment screening with the goal of achieving positive outcomes for consumers, say Nicole Kar and Tara Rudra at Linklaters.

  • Foreign Direct Investment Considerations For Buyers, Sellers

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    The rapidly developing legal and regulatory foreign direct investment landscape means the challenge for deal makers is in navigating the continuously changing rules and understanding the manner in which regulators interpret them, says Kurt Ma at BCLP.

  • Widely Forecast UK Recession Is Likely To Reshape M&As

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    Despite the economic downturn in the U.K., transactions will continue to get done in 2023, albeit with more complex terms and a greater focus on undertaking vigorous due diligence on customer relationships and contracts, say attorneys at Skadden.

  • Czech Z-Trade Ruling Shows Benefit Of Compliance Program

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    With its recent Z-Trade fine reduction decision, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition has for the first time put into practice its compliance program consideration policy, providing a further incentive for companies to implement such programs and underlining the office's intention to pay attention to them, say Vojtech Chloupek and Martin Taimr at Bird & Bird.

  • Lessons That May Be Learned From The Demise Of Made.com

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    With Made.com going into administration, companies that may face similar challenges should take on board that the earlier adequate preemptive planning is considered, the more financial and legal options there will be to avoid last minute firefighting and to focus instead on strengthening the business, says Eleni Michaela at Faegre Drinker.

  • Link Ruling Shows FCA's Wide Change-In-Control Powers

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    The Financial Conduct Authority's recent decision regarding the proposed acquisition of Link Fund Solutions is a reminder that the regulator has significant powers to attach conditions to its approvals and the advent of the Financial Services and Markets Bill could lead to the widening of those powers, say Charlotte Hill and Daniel Hirschfield at Taylor Wessing.

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