Allen & Overy and HSF lead as 21st Century Fox launches Sky bid

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Allen & Overy and Herbert Smith Freehills have taken the lead legal adviser roles as 21st Century Fox launches a takeover bid for Sky.
Allen & Overy is understood to be the lead legal adviser to 21st Century Fox while Herbert Smith Freehills is the lead adviser to Sky, according to separate reports from UK publications Legal Business and Legal Week.
Meanwhile, New York-headquartered US biglaws Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett are also understood to be advising 21st Century Fox.
On Friday, Sky confirmed 21st Century Fox has approached it with a bid reportedly worth £18.5 billion (about $31.25 billion). The cash offer – £10.75 for each of all the shares in Sky not already owned by 21st Century Fox – represents a premium of 36% to Sky’s close on Thursday.
A&O’s team is being led by antitrust co-head Antonio Bavasso, corporate finance partner David Broadley and M&A partners Seth Jones and Simon Toms.  Meanwhile, the HSF team advising Sky is being led by head of corporate Steven Wilkinson.
Skadden’s team is being led by New York M&A partner Howard Ellin who are advising on corporate matters. Simpson Thatcher’s team includes New York partner and global banking head Patrick Ryan and banking associate Matthew Farrell who are advising on financing for the deal.
21st Century Fox, which already owns 39.1% of Sky, is owned by Rupert Murdoch. The TV giant will pay approximately £11.25 billion (about $19 billion) to buy all Sky shares it doesn’t already own.
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