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Magic Circle Firms Advise in Asda and Sainsbury’s Merger
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Asda Sainsburys merger

Summary: As the second- and third-largest UK food retailers prepare to merge, they each have their teams of BigLaw firms advising them through it.

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Linklaters, and Slaughter and May are all involved in the proposed merger of Asda and Sainsbury’s, the United Kingdom’s supermarket giants. The merger between the second- and third-largest food retailers is expected to transform the country’s grocery industry.

  
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The confirmation of the intended merger was revealed to the London Stock Exchange the morning of April 30, according to Legal Week. Since the merger involves such major companies, the details were being closely scrutinized by the Competition and Markets Authority. The final result of the merger would be a company worth over 10 billion pounds, or roughly $13.76 billion, putting it ahead of current market leader Tesco. The combined revenues will be over $70 billion.

Asda is owned by US retail giant Walmart. They are using Slaughters’ team led by M&A powerhouse Nigel Boardman and corporate partners Sally Wokes and Victoria MacDuff with tax partner Steve Edge, finance partner Guy O’Keefe, and pensions and employment partners Charles Cameron and Jonathan Fenn. Asda has been a client of the magic circle firm for years, using them in their 2010 purchase of Netto Foodstores. Walmart will receive around $4 billion cash for the merger in addition to 42 percent stake in the newly formed company.

Gibson Dunn’s role in the merger is as an advisor to Walmart and Asda on competition issues. Their team will be led by Ali Nikpay and Deirdre Taylor. Nikpay has been with Gibson since 2013 when he left the Office of Fair Trading. There he had worked on major mergers including Anglo American with Lafarge, Rank with Gala, and LSA with LCH.Clearnet.

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Linklaters is advising Sainsbury through the merger. Their team is led by corporate partners Iain Fenn and Michael Honan, UK competition head Nicole Kar, competition partner Simon Pritchard and managing associate Margot Lindsay.

Linklaters has their share of experience in the industry, advising Sainsbury in their bid to buy rival Safeway. The magic circle firm also sits on the supermarket’s UK legal panel.



Do you think the merger of such big companies should be allowed? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about the magic circle firms, read these articles:

Photo: geograph.org.uk



 

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