Antitrust & Foreign Investment
Our truly integrated global antitrust and foreign investment group provides market-leading legal expertise across the spectrum of antitrust and foreign investment matters, wherever our clients do business
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Advising on the UK merger control aspects of its $7.3bn acquisition of Inmarsat., where unconditional clearance was successfully obtained subject to an in-depth Phase II review in the UK and EU and subject to a DOJ Second Request. The transaction is a rare example of an unconditional Phase 2 clearance from the CMA in a case that involved a nascent and dynamic market.
Advising the administrators of Bulb Energy Limited (“Bulb”) on the subsidy, merger control and antitrust aspects of the administration and related funding provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in November 2021, and further sale of Bulb to Octopus (October 2022). We also advised on the judicial review challenge to the UK government’s decision to approve the transfer to Octopus and related funding package which was dismissed.
We advised McKesson on the EUR 1.5 billion sale to Phoenix of part of McKesson’s business in Europe. The transaction includes McKesson's subsidiaries in Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia as well as its German-based AG headquarters in Stuttgart, its German wound-care business, its shared services center in Lithuania, and its 45% ownership stake in Brocacef, the company’s joint venture in the Netherlands.
We advised TRUE on the mega-merger between Total Access Communication Plc (DTAC) and True Corporation Plc (TRUE).
This US$8.6 billion transaction will merge the second and third largest mobile operators in Thailand, creating the largest mobile operator with more than half of total mobile subscribers.
Advising on the successful appeal against CMA’s finding of infringement and imposition of a £17.9m fine for a wide most favoured nation clause. It is a rare case (in the tech sector which continues to come under significant antitrust scrutiny) where the CMA investigated the use of wide most-favoured nation clauses, a widely debated topic in recent years. On appeal the Competition Appeal Tribunal overturned the CMA’s infringement decision in its entirety.
TDR Capital and LeasePlan:
We advised TDR Capital and LeasePlan, one of the world's leading vehicle leasing and fleet management companies, on its combination with ALD Automotive, Société Générale's car leasing division securing EU conditional clearance in Phase I.
Advising GrandVision in EssilorLuxottica’s US$8.7bn takeover, creating a leading global eyecare and eyewear company. Through this acquisition EssilorLuxottica expands its optical retail platform, primarily in Europe, by adding more than 7,200 stores globally, over 37,000 employees and €3.7bn in annual revenue. This is the biggest retail merger ever reviewed by the European Commission and one of the longest Phase II processes ever.
Silgan Holdings Inc:
We represented Silgan Holdings Inc. in a longstanding case before the European Commission and in parallel proceedings before several European courts based on allegations in relation to the exchange of information for metal closures and with regard to BPA free coating in metal closures and food cans.
Advising Porsche in the Car Emissions case before the European Commission on cartel allegations against the five German car manufacturers Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche (the so-called “Circle of 5”). The intense and complex investigations lasted for several years and were closed by way of settlement. This is the first case in the history of the European Commission in which fines were imposed for an alleged limitation of technological developments only (i.e. with no coordination on prices, customers or geographic areas).
We advised Intel on the Asian merger filings (China, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea) of its USD 9 billion sale of NAND and SSD businesses to SK Hynix, including a conditional clearance in China.
Advising on its merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in 2020. The new entity, Stellantis, has become the world’s fourth largest car manufacturer in terms of volume and the third largest in turnover. The merger was notified in 22 jurisdictions and triggered a Phase 2 in 5 jurisdictions including the EU.
The Dutch State:
We represented the Dutch State in relation to Ryanair’s appeal to the General Court of the EU of the European Commission’s decision of July 2020, approving individual State aid to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (“KLM”) in response to the Covid-19 crisis.