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26 August 2016

Freshfields and Linklaters take lion's share in AB InBev deal

Anheuser-Busch InBev's $108bn (£71bn) takeover of SABMiller, set to be the largest ever of a London-listed company, has generated $261m (£197m) in fees for law firms.

By Victoria Basham

AB InBev is the world's largest brewer and owns brands including Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona Steven Cukrov

Magic Circle outfit Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer will take the biggest share of AB InBev's $185m legal fees, with Wall Street firms Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Sullivan & Cromwell next in line having handled the US law element. Clifford Chance has also been sluiced with fees, having handled AB InBev's financing arrangements. A long list of law firms around the world were also instructed to handle local competition and tax issues.

Freshfields' deal veteran Mark Rawlinson, who will leave the firm in October to become chairman of UK investment banking at Morgan Stanley, led the firm's legal advice to AB InBev alongside London head of corporate Simon Marchant and antitrust partner John Davies.


Linklaters will take the lion’s share of the $76m in legal fees spent by SABMiller, with M&A partner Nick Rumsby and Charlie Jacobs, who was recently chosen by the firm’s partnership to succeed Robert Elliott as senior partner later this year, having led the advice. Hogan Lovells, which has long been the brewer’s go-to law firm, should be next in line having advised it on certain aspects of the deal. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton are also set to take a cut as a regular adviser on SABMiller's US tax issues.  

Sources: Legal Business; The Lawyer 

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