US duo's London offices take lead on Goldmans' motor insurer investment

The London arms of US firms Sullivan & Cromwell and Kaye Scholer have scored the leading roles on Goldman Sachs’ acquisition of a 50% stake in British motor insurer Hastings.

The deal will see Goldman Sachs’ merchant banking division acquire half of the voting share capital in the company for around £150m. 

The equity investment comes alongside a bond issue by the insurers that will raise around £420m, with the combined deals putting the company’s value at around £700m.

Kaye Scholer’s City team is advising Hastings with a team led by client relationship partner and London chief Andrew Harris. The firm also fielded corporate partners Sean Scanlon, David Gerber and Stuart Fleet.

Goldman Sachs instructed Sullivan’s London office, with corporate partner Ben Perry heading the team.

Harris said: “It was an exciting and challenging deal to work on as it had many moving parts – in particular, the bond process was running in parallel to the equity process and we had a very tight timescale. It is a significant transaction that reinforces the move by European sponsors and borrowers towards the bond market as a source of financing.  

“Add to this the reappearance of a Goldman Sachs and, hopefully, we are seeing a renewal of confidence and appetite from US investors for the European M&A/private equity markets.”

Last year Sullivan acted for Goldman on its purchase of a 4.8% equity stake in the Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia, with partners from its Hong Kong and New York offices providing counsel.