Transactions UK

  • March 25, 2024

    Communications Biz To Return £35M To Shareholders

    Gamma Communications PLC unveiled on Monday a share repurchase program of up to £35 million ($44 million) aimed at lowering its outstanding share capital and rewarding investors as the company reported a surge in pretax profits.

  • March 25, 2024

    DLA Piper, Clifford Chance Guide £44M Sale Of London Asset

    Property investment firm Helical PLC said Monday that it has agreed to sell a London office building to an affiliate of investment manager Ares Management for £43.5 million ($55 million) in a deal led by Clifford Chance LLP and DLA Piper.

  • March 25, 2024

    EU Says Lufthansa Deal Could Harm Air Transport Competition

    Europe's antitrust authority said on Monday that Lufthansa's plan to buy a 41% stake in ITA Airways for €325 million ($352 million) could lead to higher prices and poorer service for passengers taking flights in and out of Italy.

  • March 25, 2024

    Ageas Drops £3.2B Direct Line Offer After Pushback

    Belgian-French insurer Ageas has pulled its £3.2 billion ($4 billion) proposed bid for Direct Line after the British rival continued to snub its offers.

  • March 25, 2024

    KKR To Complete £1.3B Takeover, Delist Smart Metering Co.

    Private equity giant KKR said Monday that it will complete its £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) takeover of a British energy infrastructure company and take its shares off the London Stock Exchange.

  • March 22, 2024

    JPMorgan Gets Early Trial On US Regs In Viva Wallet Dispute

    J.P. Morgan on Friday was granted an expedited London trial on some of the issues in its warring claims with the founder of a Greek payment company co-owned by the investment bank over the fintech business' value.

  • March 22, 2024

    Money Laundering Ringleader Jailed For £560K Bank Con

    A fraudster who set up sham carpet and furniture businesses as part of a money laundering scheme that lost banks £560,000 ($705,000) has been jailed for six years and four months, the U.K.'s Insolvency Service said Friday.

  • March 22, 2024

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

    This past week in London has seen the BBC and Wall to Wall Media hit with a passing off lawsuit by musician BOSSIIE, Poundland parent company Pepco Group file a commercial fraud claim against several mobile network giants, family law specialists Alexiou Fisher Philipps LLP start proceedings against former oil trader Michael Prest, and a transgender lawyer file a libel claim against a blogger. Here, Law360 looks at these and other new claims in the U.K.

  • March 22, 2024

    Galderma Starts Trading In Switzerland After Pricing IPO

    Private equity-backed Swiss skincare company Galderma Group AG began trading publicly Friday after pricing its $2.4 billion initial public offering, marking the next stage of its growth trajectory.

  • March 22, 2024

    James Fisher To Sell Unit To Texas Co. For £90M

    Offshore oil and gas services company James Fisher said Friday it is selling one of its non-core businesses to U.S. drilling technology company ChampionX Corp. for £90 million ($113 million) to simplify its portfolio.

  • March 22, 2024

    Supermarket Landlord Snaps Up Tesco Store For £34.7M

    Supermarket Income REIT PLC said on Friday it has bought a Tesco store for £34.7 million ($44 million), after recently reporting a leap in its operating profits.

  • March 22, 2024

    Eversheds, Addleshaw Guide Tissue Cos. In £128M Deal

    Portuguese paper and pulp producer The Navigator and British tissue maker Accrol Group on Friday agreed on the terms of a deal led by Eversheds Sutherland and Addleshaw Goddard LLP under which Navigator will acquire Accrol for approximately £127.5 million ($161 million).

  • March 22, 2024

    KKR Becomes Controlling Shareholder In Smart Meter Co.

    KKR said Friday that it has "significant control" over a British energy infrastructure company after more than 60% of shareholders tendered their shares to the U.S. private equity giant under a £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) takeover offer.

  • March 22, 2024

    UK Says £16.5B Vodafone-Three Deal May Hurt Consumers

    Britain's antitrust authority said Friday that plans by Vodafone and Three to merge their U.K. telecommunications networks to create a £16.5 billion ($20.8 billion) mobile operator could lead to higher prices for consumers.

  • March 21, 2024

    Avoid Major Extension Of Merger Reach, EU High Court Urged

    An important tool for extending European Union antitrust officials' merger scrutiny appears to be in jeopardy after a European Court of Justice advocate general effectively recommended Thursday that the bloc's high court restrict the ability to investigate transactions that don't normally trigger EU thresholds.

  • March 21, 2024

    Events Biz Ascential Eyes £400M Share Repurchase Program

    Ascential PLC said on Thursday it will launch share buyback programs worth up to a combined £400 million ($507 million), as part of an £850 million plan following the sale of its two subsidiaries.

  • March 21, 2024

    Software Biz Aptitude Rolls Out £20M Share Buyback Program

    Aptitude Software Group PLC on Thursday launched an up to £20 million ($25 million) share repurchase scheme aimed at lowering its outstanding share capital and rewarding shareholders.

  • March 21, 2024

    Activist Investor Rips 'Misguided' Strategy Of WisdomTree

    Activist investor ETFS Capital on Thursday urged shareholders of WisdomTree to withhold their votes from the asset management firm's board members at an upcoming shareholder meeting due to the company's "failed diversification strategy" and refusal to initiate a strategic review process.

  • March 28, 2024

    White & Case Hires 2nd Funds Pro From Ropes & Gray

    White & Case LLP has recruited a private funds lawyer from Ropes & Gray LLP — the second time it has hired a specialist as a partner from the London office of its U.S. rival in recent months.

  • March 21, 2024

    Car Parts Maker Plans £50M Buyback After 1 Year On LSE

    Automotive engineering company Dowlais Group said Thursday that it is planning to buy back up to £50 million ($63.5 million) of its shares over the next 12 months to distribute the excess cash it generated during the 2023 financial year.

  • March 21, 2024

    Ashurst, Dickson-Led Storage REIT, UKCM Sign £924M Deal

    Warehousing giant Tritax Big Box PLC and UK Commercial Property REIT Ltd. on Thursday agreed on the terms of an all-share deal under which Tritax will acquire all the shares of UKCM for £924 million ($1.18 billion).

  • March 21, 2024

    Nationwide Agrees To Buy Virgin Money For £2.9B In Cash

    Nationwide Building Society said Thursday that it will buy Virgin Money UK for £2.9 billion ($3.7 billion) in cash, in a deal backed by the boards of both companies.

  • March 20, 2024

    Jenner & Block-Led Lonza To Buy Roche's $1.2B US Facility

    Swiss healthcare company Lonza said on Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire one of the largest medicine manufacturing facilities in the world from biotech giant Roche for $1.2 billion to increase its manufacturing capacity.

  • March 20, 2024

    Investor Seeks To Toss €10M Case Over Share Deal Row

    An investment company urged a London court on Wednesday to throw out a €10.2 million ($11 million) claim by an asset management firm, arguing that it had not consented to the terms of the sale of shares in a luxury Greek resort.

  • March 20, 2024

    French Lab Testing Biz Announces €200M Share Buyback

    Bureau Veritas SA said on Wednesday it will launch a share repurchase program worth up to €200 million ($217 million) this year, as it detailed plans for growing its business and bolstering shareholder returns.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • 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.

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