Formula One 2010 Rd.3 Malaysian GP: opening lap. Wikimedia
Formula One 2010 Rd.3 Malaysian GP: opening lap. Wikimedia ()

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which just sponsored a report on cybersecurity risks in M&A deals, picked up lead roles on two large cross-border transactions within the past week in the software space and racecar realm.

The London-based legal giant is helping Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.—formed last year following the breakup of HP Inc.—on the $8.8 billion sale of noncore software assets to the U.K.’s Micro Focus International plc in a deal that creates one of Europe’s largest technology companies.

The deal, announced Sept. 7 by Palo Alto, California-based HPE, comes at a time when many fellow U.K.-based technology companies have been sold to foreign rivals. Freshfields is working with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in advising HPE, according to sibling publication Legal Week.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is also advising HPE on tax matters—the tax-free transfer is structured as a reverse Morris Trust—and DLA Piper is handling IP matters for the seller. HPE’s general counsel is former Morgan, Lewis & Bockius litigation partner John Schultz.

Paul Hastings is counseling The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as financial adviser to HPE, while Kirkland & Ellis and British firm Travers Smith are representing acquirer Micro Focus. The latter is picking up some assets that were once owned by Autonomy Inc., a British software company acquired by HP in a $10.3 billion deal in 2011.

Freshfields served as antitrust and due diligence counsel to HP on the Autonomy acquisition, which became the subject of controversy in late 2012 as HP took an $8.8 billion write-down on the purchase, accusing Autonomy’s founder of financial misrepresentations and improprieties. (Skadden took the lead for HP’s board of directors in shareholder litigation related to the Autonomy affair.)

Freshfields also teamed up last week with Weil, Gotshal & Manges to advise on the sale of U.K. motor speedway group Formula One to cable magnate John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. The two-stage deal is worth an estimated $8.5 billion, with the valuation for the world’s top racing series being $4.4 billion and including another $4.1 billion in debt.

Baker Botts is representing longtime client Liberty Media on the deal, as the Englewood, Colorado-based company prepares to acquire Formula One from a group led by London-based private equity firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd. Freshfields has taken the lead advising CVC and Formula One on the matter, while Weil is also providing counsel to Formula One’s parent company Delta Topco Ltd. The deal has reportedly been in the works for several weeks.

Lauren Livingston took over as general counsel for CVC in late 2014, while Richard Baer serves as chief legal officer for Liberty Media. Baer served as in-house legal chief at Denver-based Qwest Communications International before joining a Liberty Media unit in 2013.

In other M&A news…

Enbridge Inc./Spectra Energy Corp.

Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge has agreed to acquire Houston-based Spectra Energy in a stock-for-stock deal valued at $28 billion, according to sibling publication Texas Lawyer. The transaction, announced Sept. 6, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017 and create a North American leader in the energy infrastructure space.

Legal Advisers: Sullivan & Cromwell and McCarthy Tétrault for Enbridge; Alston & Bird for Credit Suisse AG as financial adviser to Enbridge; Wachtell, Skadden and Goodmans for Spectra Energy.

Danaher Corp./Cepheid Inc.

Washington, D.C.-based diagnostics giant Danaher is poised to pick up Sunnyvale, California-based Cepheid in an all-cash deal valued at $4 billion, including debt. The deal for Cepheid, which specializes in molecular biology diagnostics for infectious diseases, was announced Sept. 6 and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Legal Advisers: Kirkland for Danaher; Fenwick & West for Cepheid.

EOG Resources Inc./Yates Petroleum Corp.

Houston-based shale gas driller EOG Resources has agreed to acquire Artesia, New Mexico-based Yates Petroleum in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $2.5 billion, including debt. As noted by Texas Lawyer, the acquisition was announced Sept. 6 and is expected to close in October. Other parties to the transaction include Abo Petroleum Corp. and MYCO Industries Inc.

Legal Advisers: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld for EOG Resources; Thompson & Knight for Yates Petroleum; Kemp Smith for MYCO Industries; Modrall Sperling for Abo Petroleum.

VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Co./Airbus Group SE

Vietnamese budget carrier VietJet has inked a $2.39 billion agreement to buy at least 20 A321 planes from commercial aviation giant Airbus. The deal comes months after Vietjet announced an $11.3 billion deal to buy 100 commercial jets from Airbus rival The Boeing Co. after the Obama administration lifted a longstanding U.S. embargo on Vietnam.

Legal Advisers: Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy for Vietjet.

State Grid Corp. of China/CPFL Energia S.A.

Chinese utility company State Grid Corp. has agreed to buy a 23.6 percent stake in Brazil’s CPFL Energia from Camargo Correa S.A. for $1.8 billion, as noted by sibling publication The Asian Lawyer. The deal is the latest is the latest in a string of Brazilian investments by China’s State Grid.

Legal Advisers: Sullivan & Cromwell and Veirano Advogados for State Grid; Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados for Camargo Correa.

China Life Insurance Co./GIC Private Ltd./Joy City Property Ltd.

China Life and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC have formed a $1.4 billion joint venture to invest in Chinese real estate developer Joy City. The deal, expected to close in September, will see China Life and GIC acquire a 49 percent stake in a fund formed to invest in six mixed-use Joy City properties, according to The Asian Lawyer. Joy City will hold on to the remaining 51 percent stake.

Legal Advisers: Clifford Chance and the DeHeng Law Offices for China Life and GIC; Davis Polk & Wardwell for Joy City.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer , which just sponsored a report on cybersecurity risks in M&A deals, picked up lead roles on two large cross-border transactions within the past week in the software space and racecar realm.

The London-based legal giant is helping Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.—formed last year following the breakup of HP Inc.—on the $8.8 billion sale of noncore software assets to the U.K.’s Micro Focus International plc in a deal that creates one of Europe’s largest technology companies.

The deal, announced Sept. 7 by Palo Alto, California-based HPE, comes at a time when many fellow U.K.-based technology companies have been sold to foreign rivals. Freshfields is working with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in advising HPE, according to sibling publication Legal Week.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is also advising HPE on tax matters—the tax-free transfer is structured as a reverse Morris Trust—and DLA Piper is handling IP matters for the seller. HPE’s general counsel is former Morgan, Lewis & Bockius litigation partner John Schultz.

Paul Hastings is counseling The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as financial adviser to HPE, while Kirkland & Ellis and British firm Travers Smith are representing acquirer Micro Focus. The latter is picking up some assets that were once owned by Autonomy Inc., a British software company acquired by HP in a $10.3 billion deal in 2011.

Freshfields served as antitrust and due diligence counsel to HP on the Autonomy acquisition, which became the subject of controversy in late 2012 as HP took an $8.8 billion write-down on the purchase, accusing Autonomy’s founder of financial misrepresentations and improprieties. (Skadden took the lead for HP’s board of directors in shareholder litigation related to the Autonomy affair.)

Freshfields also teamed up last week with Weil, Gotshal & Manges to advise on the sale of U.K. motor speedway group Formula One to cable magnate John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. The two-stage deal is worth an estimated $8.5 billion, with the valuation for the world’s top racing series being $4.4 billion and including another $4.1 billion in debt.

Baker Botts is representing longtime client Liberty Media on the deal, as the Englewood, Colorado-based company prepares to acquire Formula One from a group led by London-based private equity firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd. Freshfields has taken the lead advising CVC and Formula One on the matter, while Weil is also providing counsel to Formula One’s parent company Delta Topco Ltd. The deal has reportedly been in the works for several weeks.

Lauren Livingston took over as general counsel for CVC in late 2014, while Richard Baer serves as chief legal officer for Liberty Media. Baer served as in-house legal chief at Denver-based Qwest Communications International before joining a Liberty Media unit in 2013.

In other M&A news…

Enbridge Inc./Spectra Energy Corp.

Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge has agreed to acquire Houston-based Spectra Energy in a stock-for-stock deal valued at $28 billion, according to sibling publication Texas Lawyer. The transaction, announced Sept. 6, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017 and create a North American leader in the energy infrastructure space.

Legal Advisers: Sullivan & Cromwell and McCarthy Tétrault for Enbridge; Alston & Bird for Credit Suisse AG as financial adviser to Enbridge; Wachtell, Skadden and Goodmans for Spectra Energy.

Danaher Corp./Cepheid Inc.

Washington, D.C.-based diagnostics giant Danaher is poised to pick up Sunnyvale, California-based Cepheid in an all-cash deal valued at $4 billion, including debt. The deal for Cepheid, which specializes in molecular biology diagnostics for infectious diseases, was announced Sept. 6 and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Legal Advisers: Kirkland for Danaher; Fenwick & West for Cepheid.

EOG Resources Inc./Yates Petroleum Corp.

Houston-based shale gas driller EOG Resources has agreed to acquire Artesia, New Mexico-based Yates Petroleum in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $2.5 billion, including debt. As noted by Texas Lawyer, the acquisition was announced Sept. 6 and is expected to close in October. Other parties to the transaction include Abo Petroleum Corp. and MYCO Industries Inc.

Legal Advisers: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld for EOG Resources; Thompson & Knight for Yates Petroleum; Kemp Smith for MYCO Industries; Modrall Sperling for Abo Petroleum.

VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Co./Airbus Group SE

Vietnamese budget carrier VietJet has inked a $2.39 billion agreement to buy at least 20 A321 planes from commercial aviation giant Airbus. The deal comes months after Vietjet announced an $11.3 billion deal to buy 100 commercial jets from Airbus rival The Boeing Co. after the Obama administration lifted a longstanding U.S. embargo on Vietnam.

Legal Advisers: Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy for Vietjet.

State Grid Corp. of China/CPFL Energia S.A.

Chinese utility company State Grid Corp. has agreed to buy a 23.6 percent stake in Brazil’s CPFL Energia from Camargo Correa S.A. for $1.8 billion, as noted by sibling publication The Asian Lawyer. The deal is the latest is the latest in a string of Brazilian investments by China’s State Grid.

Legal Advisers: Sullivan & Cromwell and Veirano Advogados for State Grid; Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados for Camargo Correa.

China Life Insurance Co./GIC Private Ltd./Joy City Property Ltd.

China Life and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC have formed a $1.4 billion joint venture to invest in Chinese real estate developer Joy City. The deal, expected to close in September, will see China Life and GIC acquire a 49 percent stake in a fund formed to invest in six mixed-use Joy City properties, according to The Asian Lawyer. Joy City will hold on to the remaining 51 percent stake.

Legal Advisers: Clifford Chance and the DeHeng Law Offices for China Life and GIC; Davis Polk & Wardwell for Joy City.