03:14, June 29 126 0

2017-06-29 03:14:06
Eversheds and DLA lead on Link Group’s £888m Capita buy

Eversheds Sutherland and DLA Piper have won key advisory roles in the £888m sale of Capita Asset Services to the Link Group.

The deal is expected to be completed in the last quarter of this year.

Eversheds Sutherland financial services partner Jon Cox-Brown led the firm’s team, which included M&A partners Nigel Cooke and Chris Halliday as well as commercial partner Richard Prowse.

DLA Piper’s team was led by head of Australian private equity Grant Koch and corporate partner Jon Hayes.

JP Morgan and Citibank underwrote the deal and, due to Link’s strong financial performance, the deal includes a four for 11 pro rata options on stocks giving current stockholders the option to purchase at a reduced market rate.

Cox-Brown said: “We are continuing to advise on large transactions for significant clients and there are clear signs that, for good assets, the M&A market remains positive. This transaction is the perfect example of that. We are delighted to have supported Capita in achieving its strategic goals.”

Cox-Brown has worked closely with Capita before, acting on the unsuccessful £412m bid for Xchanging PLC. Capita ended up losing out to Allen & Overy-advised Computer Sciences Corporation in that deal. However, the firm had more success when advising Capita on its £50m acquisition of Bluefin Corporate Consulting.

Similarly, Koch has worked on more than 30 deals with Link including the 2005 deal which saw the company purchased for £81m. Koch joined DLA Piper from Allen & Overy in 2015 and has worked on a number of the firm’s deals for Link since.

Capita chief executive Andy Parker described the sale as a “disposal” and said the company was looking to sell its asset services and other small businesses as they “no longer fit the company’s core strategy”.

The deal saw Link’s share price rise 2.7 per cent to 710p.

Parker said: “This disposal is an important step in realising this strategy. We have achieved an attractive price and the reduction in leverage is significant and ensures that Capita can fully focus on the pursuit of what it does best: continuing to deliver outstanding services to our clients and their customers.”