WINNER

IPO Team of the Year

Linklaters

Lloyds Banking Group turned to longstanding adviser Linklaters, as it set about divesting its retail banking business and launching it on the UK high street as TSB. When discussions over a potential M&A deal with the Co-operative Group fell apart, Lloyds’ refocused its efforts on an IPO calling upon Linklaters to yet again take the lead.

Despite the IPO eventually being a success, it was one of the most challenging deals to have come out of the financial crisis. The complex process, run in parallel with the build of TSB as well as its separation from Lloyds, required Linklaters to advise on five banking business transfer schemes, as well as the re-branding of the company and its corporate governance arrangements. In addition, the firm not only led on the negotiation of a separation and relationship agreement, but a transitional services and long-term agreement that was particularly onerous to draft at some 1,000 pages.

The IPO finally closed in June 2014, after the UK Listing Authority spent ten months discussing TSB’s eligibility due to the complex nature of the business. The decision meant Linklaters successfully managed the flotation of the seventh largest retail banking group in the UK, with its lawyers acting for the company across almost all its practice areas.

Runner up
  • Paul Hastings

In the largest ever Romanian IPO, Paul Hastings advised the joint global coordinators and bookrunners on the €443m IPO and London listing of Romania’s state-owned electricity distributor Electrica. The firm represented Citigroup Global Markets, Raiffeisen Bank and Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking in the first ever dual-listed primary offering by a Romanian company that was listed on both the Bucharest and London Stock Exchanges. In what was the first privatisation in Romania’s privatisation programme, the government also agreed to relinquish majority control of the company and cut its stake in the company to around 49%.

Third place
  • Winston & Strawn London

Winston & Strawn represented Nigerian oil company Seplat, as it sought to launch an IPO at home and on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. The IPO was successfully completed in April 2014 and raised the full $500m sought, yet the deal was complex with Seplat being the first company to have obtained a dual listing in both countries. In a first for the capital markets, the transaction is expected to pave the way for other African companies looking to follow suit and serves as a template for future deals to come.

Shortlisted
  • Ashurst
  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
  • Mayer Brown International
  • Travers Smith