Thursday, 08 February 2018

Deal watch: DLA Piper and Addleshaws advise on Carillion fire sale as US and UK firms pick up major mandates

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Deal watch: DLA Piper and Addleshaws advise on Carillion fire sale as US and UK firms pick up major mandates

DLA Piper and Addleshaw Goddard have won roles advising on the sale of part of recently-collapsed Carillion’s business while Watson Farley & Williams (WFW), Allen & Overy (A&O), Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Paul Hastings and Kirkland & Ellis all picked up major deals this week.

Addleshaw Goddard advised engineering and construction company J Murphy & Sons on its acquisition of Carillion’s UK power framework business for an undisclosed sum. The deal sees Murphy take Carillion’s position on National Grid’s electricity overhead lines, substation and underground cable framework contracts, supporting replacement and refurbishment schemes on transmission networks across England and Wales.

Murphy, a private infrastructure company which employs more than 3,000 engineers, will also take on 22 former Carillion employees as part of the transaction. The acquisition follows Carillion’s liquidation in January after talks between the Wolverhampton-headquartered company, its creditors and the government failed to reach a deal on its £1.5bn liabilities, including £900m in debt.

The Addleshaw Goddard team was led by Manchester-based corporate partner Shelley McGivern. She declined to comment further.

DLA Piper, meanwhile, acted for the Official Receiver for Carillion. The firm declined to comment further or name who led from its side. Dentons’ restructuring partners Nigel Barnett and Neil Griffiths have also been advising the liquidator since Carillion’s collapse.

Meanwhile, a cluster of firms won advisory roles on Blackburn-based petrol store retailer EG Group’s purchase of Kroger’s convenience store business for $2.15bn. As a result of the acquisition, which is expected to close in the first quarter of Kroger’s fiscal year, EG Group will establish a North American headquarters in Cincinnati, the city where Kroger was founded.

Magic Circle firm A&O is the main legal adviser to EG Group, with a team consisting of partners William Schwitter and Jeffrey Pellegrino. US outfit Kirkland & Ellis also acted for EG Group on financing aspects of the deal, led by partner Neel Sachdev.

Sachdev told Legal Business: ‘It was a real privilege to help EG put in place their new financing and to support their growth strategy through acquisitions, including the Kroger deal.’

Weil provided legal support to Kroger, with a team headed by New York corporate partner Michael Aiello. He was supported by fellow corporate partner Matthew Gilroy, technology partner Michael Epstein, tax partner Kenneth Heitner, executive compensation and benefits partner Paul Wessel, real estate partner Philip Rosen, antitrust partner Jeffrey Perry and environmental partner Annemargaret Connolly.

Paul Hastings advised EG Group on real estate due diligence for the transaction, with a team led by real estate partner Robert Keane alongside corporate partner Robert Miller.

Energy and transport specialist WFW has racked up two significant real estate deals for a combined value of over £860m, after advising longstanding client Frasers Group on its £174.6m acquisition of Farnborough Business Park as well as its £686m buyout of a portfolio of four other UK business parks.

The Farnborough Business Park acquisition was a joint venture between Frasers Centrepoint and Frasers Commercial Trust. The park comprises of 14 commercial buildings and has a net lettable area of 555,000 sq. ft. The portfolio buyout included parks in Reading, Basingstoke, Camberley and Glasgow.

Gowling WLG advised Farnborough Business Park on the sale, while Gibson Dunn & Crutcher represented the seller of the four-park portfolio.

WFW’s team on both acquisitions was led by corporate partner Felicity Jones, who said the portfolio acquisition had a tight timeframe, which was agreed and signed in under four weeks. She added: ‘Having had a long term relationship with the hospitality arm of Frasers, we were especially pleased to work with their commercial arm on their expansion into the UK. It also provided a good opportunity to complement our existing expertise in the business park area.’

Also acting on the acquisitions for WFW was corporate partner Dearbhla Quigley, tax partner Tom Jarvis, real estate partners Simon Folley and Hetan Ganatra and planning and environment partner Nick Walker.

tom.baker@legalease.co.uk

hamish.mcnicol@legalease.co.uk