Clifford Chance and Freshfields all in on CVC's £910m Betfair bid

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Clifford Chance (CC) are advising on CVC Capital Partners’ takeover bid for online betting exchange Betfair Group.

A Freshfields team led by corporate partner Martin Taylor is acting for the betting company, which on Monday (22 April) rejected an offer of £8.80 per Betfair share, on the basis that it “fundamentally undervalues the company and its prospects, and is highly conditional.”

It is understood that CC has taken the lead role for private equity giant CVC.

CVC first declared an interest in Betfair earlier this month when it announced it was in discussions with Betfair shareholders Richard Koch and Antony Ball to make an offer for the group.

Betfair chairman Gerald Corbett, said: “We have a unique business with a market position, profitability, cash flow and prospects that this proposal fails to recognise. Our new management team are implementing the strategy announced in December 2012 and it is this that will realise value for shareholders.”

Betfair and CVC are both longstanding clients of Freshfields. The magic firm acted on Betfair’s £1.39bn initial public offering in 2010, and has also taken a string of high-profile roles for CVC in recent years including its 2010 investment in Merlin Entertainments Group and its 2009 purchase of the Central and Eastern European operations of Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Meanwhile, CC last year advised CVC on a joint venture with Resource America which created a global credit management business with more than $7.5bn (£4.9bn) in assets under management.

The deal comes after RPC and Bates Wells & Braithwaite this month took roles on Betfair’s takeover of online sports bookmaker Blue Square Bet from Rank Group.