Six law firms act on British American Tobacco’s US$49b takeover of Reynolds American

by |
Six top law firms have advised on British American Tobacco’s mega-buyout of Reynolds American.

According to official announcements from BAT and Reynolds, the law firms and other reports, the legal advisers to various groups involved in the deal are: Cravath, Swaine & Moore; Herbert Smith Freehills; Jones Day; Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Moore & Van Allen; and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Cravath has confirmed that it is representing BAT in the transaction, which will see the tobacco giant pay US$49.4 billion, or about $65.7 billion, for the 57.8% of Reynolds it doesn’t already own. Meanwhile, BAT has confirmed that it has also tapped HSF as legal adviser.

BAT, which already owns 42.2% or Reynolds, initially offered US$56.50 per share on 21 October. The sweetened deal is 5% more than the original offer, implying a current price of US$59.64 per Reynolds share for a total enterprise value of US$97 billion.

Reynolds American has confirmed that Jones Day is their lead legal counsel. It also noted that the two firms Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Moore & Van Allen are acting as legal counsel to the independent Reynolds American transaction committee.

Meanwhile, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has announced that they represent J.P. Morgan Securities as financial advisor to Reynolds American.

The Cravath team is led by partners Philip A. Gelston, David J. Perkins and Ting S. Chen. The HSF team is led by partners James Palmer, Alex Kay, Isaac Zailer and Gillian Fairfield, a report from Legal Business noted.

The Jones day team is led by partner Randi Lesnick along with partners Vica Irani and Leon Ferera. The Weil team is led by partner Michael Aiello along with London managing partner Mike Francies and senior consultant Ian Hamilton.

The Simpson Thacher team includes Rob Spatt, Sebastian Tiller and Jihyun Chung.

Subject to approvals, the deal is subject to a US$1 billion breakup fee. If the deal goes through, it would create the world’s largest publicly-traded tobacco firm by revenue, ahead of rival Philip Morris International.

In 2015, British American Tobacco reported revenues of £31.1 billion, or about $21.24 billion. Meanwhile, Reynolds American reported a top line of US$10.7 billion, or about $14.23 billion.

Related stories:
Trump win may imperil major M&A deals
Freshfields advised Anheuser-Busch in $127.8b SABMiller merger