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With Europe's uniform M&A proposal defeated at the hands of the Germans, takeover rules in individual countries are perhaps more important than ever. It took nearly three years for the battle for Gucci to subside, over Lebanese food and LVMH champagne at the paris offices of the white-knight's counsel. But it's likely that the innovative defenses and the rulings from Dutch courts will serve as tea leaves to pour over for some time to come.

The Players
Who represented whom in the three-way battle. Skadden and Wachtell are across the table again in a takeover reminiscent of the good old days in the U.S. of A.

Gucci: Red-Letter Dates

The New Unocal?
How a Dutch ruling reflects a Delaware icon.

A Lock-Up in Limbo
Tyson Foods has been in takeover battles before. In the classic battle for Holly Farms, the target's lock-up got frowns from the court, but no one appealed. And Tyson was flummoxed.

Los LBOs
The competition for LBOs in Europe and the U.K. could hardly be more cruel. The game is certainly similar to its American version, but there are differences of which the wise should be aware.

Committment letter
Senior facilities term sheet

The global deals and the merger firm's mergers

Linklaters: Global Deals

In 2000, Linklaters was ranked by Thomson Financial as first in number of Asian M&A deals. In global M&A, based on deals completed, Linklaters ranked fourth worldwide, above all other non-US law firms. In Europe, the firm continues to top the European league tables. Below is a selection of the firm's deals completed in 2001

  • Halifax's merger with Bank of Scotland to create HBOS, the UK's fifth-largest bank, worth $40.6 billion.

  • Billiton's ground-breaking dual-listed companies merger with BHP, valued at $28 billion, which created one of the world's largest diversified global resources groups.

  • BP's acquisition of a majority stake in Germany's Veba Oel and the disposal of a controlling interest in Gelsenberg by BP, valued at $12.9 billion, and believed to be one of the biggest deals in Europe so far this year.

  • Vodafone Group's acquisition of BT's interests in Japan Telecom, J-Phone, and Airtel in Spain, valued at $6.9 billion.

  • Copenhagen Airport's acquisition of a 49-percent stake in Newcastle International Airport, worth $283 million.

  • Bass's $1.1 billion acquisition of the Posthouse hotel chain.

  • France Telecom's acquisition of Equant NV and Foundation, valued at $9.1 billion.

  • Alcatel Space's disposal of 48.8 percent of the company to THALES, $726 million.

  • Electronic Data Systems' $570 million acquisition of Systematics.

  • Lafarge SA's acquisition of Blue Circle Industries, worth $4.5 billion.

  • Advising Bryant Group on the recommended offer by Taylor Woodrow, valued at approximately $809 million.

  • Bertelsmann AG Group Bruxelles Lambert SA's acquisition of RTL Group SA, worth $6.8 billion.

  • BP Amoco's $657 million disposal of Lukoil.

  • Telenor's disposal of 49.5 percent of Esat Digifone Ltd, valued at $1.23 billion.

  • Halifax's acquisition of Equitable Life's non-profit and unit-linked business, worth up to $1.4 billion.

  • Capio UK's recommended cash offer for CHG, the fourth largest independent hospital group in the UK, worth $345.1 million.

  • Advising Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Goldman Sachs Ltd, Barclays Capital plc and HSBC Bank plc, the banks that financed the acquisition by Gallaher Group plc of a 41.13-percent stake in the state-owned Austria Tabak, worth $1.6 billion.

  • Dimension Data Holdings' tender offer for the common stock of Proxicom Inc., for US$448 million. Following the completion of the tender, a US subsidiary of Dimension Data will merge with Proxicom.

  • Fenwick Limited's public offer for quoted department store group Bentalls plc. Under the offer Fenwick, which owns eight department stores across the UK, will pay $103 million for Bentalls, which operates six stores in southeast England.

  • Advising JP Morgan on the recommended cash offer by Havas Advertising SA for the whole of the share capital of Tempus Group, $619 million.

  • Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group's disposal of Spanish subsidiaries in the company by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, $201 million.

  • Telenor Mobile Communications's acquisition of Hungary-based mobile phone company Pannon GSM, $913.7 million.

  • Advising the Slovak government and Credit Suisse First Boston (Europe) Ltd on behalf of five state-owned companies that sold a 36 percent interest (valued at $180 million) in Globtel, one of the two GSM companies in Slovakia.

  • Oxon Italia SpA's acquisition of certain businesses of the former SKW Trostberg AG (now Degussa AG). The deal was valued at $350.3 million.

  • Advising Helaba (the Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen) on acquisition finance for an LBO/MBO, valued at $173.6 million.

  • Greene King plc's recommended cash offer for Old English Inns plc. The deal had an enterprise value of $150 million.

  • Advising SSSB, financial advisor to George Wimpey, on its acquisition of Alfred McAlpine's housing business, worth $671.4 million

  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's acquisition of a 19.99-percent stake in Slovenska Sporitelna, a.s (Slovak Savings Bank --"SLSP"). The deal was valued at approximately $91.3 million


The Firm's Own Mergers

Linklaters's mergers in 2001:

  • In Sweden, creating Linklaters Lagerlöf

  • In Germany, creating Linklaters Oppenhoff & Rädler

  • In the Czech Republic with Linklaters & Alliance member druzeni advokatu

  • In Poland with Komosa Wisniewski Grzybowski & Partners.

  • In Belgium and Luxembourg, with De Bandt, van Hecke, Lagae & Loesch (agreement in principle, Sept. 2001)





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