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Global excellence in Public M&A

Clients across the globe instruct us on public M&A deals knowing that whatever the scale of complexity and challenge ahead, we will deliver to ambitious takeover schedules, drawing on the best legal minds across our global practices, with local, personal advice. 

Our wealth of experience acting on all sides of public bids means that we are able to understand complex legal and commercial issues from every angle.

We also have a full team of specialists who are on hand to provide the expert advice whenever needed on issues that will arise including in relation to anti-trust/national interest, employment and incentives, pensions, financing and tax.

"They really set the benchmark for excellent client service. They're very familiar with us and our bigger transactions, and extremely capable." Chambers and Partners 2020, Corporate M&A:High-end capability, Band 1

"Strong commercial acumen; practical advice; written advice is not verbose; it is succinct and clear. Absolutely fast to revert even at partner level; Strong in communications, be it via text or other platforms." Legal 500 2021, M&A: Upper Mid-market and Premium Deals

Landmark deals

Clients regularly turn to us on some of their biggest and most strategic mandates, below is a selection of some of the transformational, cross-border public M&A deals our team has worked on in recent years:

  • Ahli United Bank: on the USD8.8bn recommended acquisition of AUB by Kuwait Finance House, the largest ever cross-border public takeover in the GCC
  • Takeda Pharmaceutical Company: in relation to its £46bn recommended offer for Shire, the largest ever outbound M&A deal by a Japanese company
  • SABMiller: on the recommended USD108bn offer from Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest UK takeover and the third largest global M&A deal in history and SABMiller on the disposal of its stake in Tsogo Sun
  • Unilever: on the successful defence to the USD145bn approach from Kraft-Heinz
  • Vodafone: on its £112bn hostile bid for Mannesmann, the first successful hostile bid for a German company
  • E.ON: on the EUR43bn public takeover of a 76.8% stake in Innogy and on the planned extensive swap of assets between E.ON and RWE
  • Cheung Kong Holdings: on the USD103bn merger with Hutchison Whampoa - the largest Hong Kong public M&A in history
  • Glencore: on its USD90bn merger of equals with Xstrata

Recent deals

Below are a selection of some of our most recent public M&A deals from our offices around the world.

  • Caesars Entertainment: advising on its £2.9bn recommended cash offer for William Hill
  • Just Eat: on the agreed £6.26bn all-share merger with and on its defence of the hostile £5.5bn cash offer by Prosus
  • City Developments: on its recommended £2.23bn cash offer for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels
  • Advent International Corporation: on the £4bn recommended cash offer for Cobham plc, and on its recommended £1bn cash offer for Laird
  • Greene King: on the £2.7bn recommended cash offer by CK Asset Holdings
  • UBM: on the recommended £3.9bn cash and share offer by Informa
Mainland Europe
  • Belgium: Ablynx: on the €3.9bn public takeover bid made by Sanofi on Ablynx
  • Spain: SIX Group: on the €2.8bn public takeover bid made for Bolsas y Mercados Españoles
  • Spain: Corporación Financiera Alba: on the €630m public takeover offer launched for Parques Reunidos
  • Germany: Commerzbank: on the €380m sale of its Equity Markets & Commodities business to the French bank Société Générale
  • Germany: ams: advising on the €3.6bn public takeover of Osram Licht
  • Netherlands: Recruit: on its €1.42bn all-cash tender offer for all USG People shares
  • Netherlands: Delhaize: on its €26bn merger with Netherlands-based listed retailer Ahold
  • Paris: BPIfrance on the contemplated €160m tender offer of Wordline on Ingenico Group
  • China: China Three Gorges: on its USD10.6bn public tender offer for Energias de Portugal, Portugal’s largest energy company
  • China: UBS: on its CNY 858m acquisition of 12.01% and 14% equity interests in UBS Securities, becoming the first foreign-controlled securities company approved by the CSRC in China’s further opening-up
  • Japan: Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation: advising on the JPY820m merger squeeze-out of minority shareholders in its subsidiary NTT Com Security
  • Singapore: J Trust Co Ltd: advising this Tokyo-listed financial services company on its USD93m acquisition of approximately 29.5% of Singapore-listed LCD Global Investments
  • Hong Kong: China International Capital Corporation: on the USD25.9bn merger of China’s train makers, CSR Corporation and China CNR Corporation, through a securities exchange offer effected through a Chinese law-governed merger by absorption
  • Sibanye Gold: on its USD2.2bn acquisition of Stillwater Mining Company and related equity issuance
  • Xtep International Holdings: on its USD260m acquisition of a 100% stake in E-Land Footwear USA Holdings, the owner of the K-Swiss, Palladium and Supra brands

Global Case Studies

Our public mergers and acquisitions experts are advising on significant deals from across our 30 global offices. Over the last eight years we have advised on more UK Public bids than any other firm, including, in 2019, seven takeovers valued at £1bn+.

The £71bn global brewery

We advised SABMiller plc on its £71bn recommended acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV. The deal was the largest ever offer for a UK company and the world’s third largest takeover ever, creating a global brewer and one of the world's leading consumer products companies. The deal, which ran to a very ambitious timetable, is considered one of the most complex acquisitions in history.

British Legal Awards 2016
M&A Team of the Year (Large Deal): SABMiller/InBev

Mergermarket European M&A Awards 2015
M&A Deal of the Year - Merger of SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch InBev

Creating a Global Leader in Pharmaceuticals

A global Linklaters team, from across Europe, the Americas and Asia, advised Takeda on its £46bn recommended offer for Shire plc. This was one of the largest public M&A deals in recent years, and the largest ever outbound M&A deal by a Japanese company. The transaction saw Takeda enter the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies by revenues.

Specialist practice areas


Our market-leading global Competition practice advises on some of the most high-profile matters including significant mergers, complex investigatory work, regulatory and litigation and embraces the continued globalisation of competition law and policy.

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Employment and Incentives

Our pre-eminent Employment & Incentives practice is one of the strongest and most innovative players in the global market, providing legal and commercial expertise across employment and incentives matters, wherever our clients do business.

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Intellectual Property

Our Intellectual Property team has global recognition and a track record of solving a wide range of IP issues, including commercialising, acquiring and licensing IP, and enforcing and defending IP in litigation.

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Our top-tier Pension lawyers can assist with the full range of pensions issues including de-risking solutions, tailored funding solutions, regulatory, governance and investment issues.

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Our pre-eminent Tax practice is known for its market-leading work and is consistently recognised as being at the forefront of its field.

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Technology, Procurement and Outsourcing

With technology and outsourcing being used to transform and achieve business objectives, Linklaters advises on a global basis, and those in regulated industries.

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Key Public M&A Contacts
For more information on how our public M&A team can support you, please speak to one of our public M&A lawyers below.

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