US giants and magic circle trio advise on Liberty Global's €6.9bn Ziggo purchase

 A host of firms including Ropes & Gray, Latham & Watkins, Allen & Overy (A&O) and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have taken the lead roles on Liberty Global’s cash and stock purchase of Dutch cable company Ziggo for €6.9bn (£5.7bn).

Long-time Liberty Global adviser Ropes & Gray took the leading financing role for the company in London, with partners Tania Bedi and Jane Rogers leading a team alongside London co-managing partner Maurice Allen.

Last year, the firm also acted as lead counsel – alongside Shearman & Sterling – for Liberty Global on its $23.3bn (£14.9bn) acquisition of Virgin Media.

On Dutch law aspects, A&O provided M&A advice to Liberty, with Amsterdam corporate partner Tim Stevens leading a team for the magic circle firm.

A&O also took a separate role acting for the underwriting banks on financing matters in London, with banking partners Philip Bowden and Denise Gibson both taking a role.

On the 2013 Virgin Media deal, A&O also acted for the underwriters, with Bowden, banking partner Jonathan Brownson, high-yield partner Kevin Muzilla and capital markets partner Daniel Shurman all taking a role.

However, given the firm was conflicted out of advising the banks on Dutch law matters, Clifford Chance was instructed the lenders, with Amsterdam partner Mark Huddlestone heading up a team.

Meanwhile, Latham & Watkins acted for the banks on bondholder matters.

Ziggo turned to Freshfields’ Amsterdam office for the deal, with partner Jan Willem van der Staay leading a team. The company previously instructed the firm in 2012 to advise it on English, US and Dutch law aspects of its global offering and listing on the NYSE Euronext in Amsterdam.

Shearman & Sterling also took a major mandate, advising Ziggo on the financing, with London capital markets partner Apostollos Gkoutzinis and finance partner Peter Hayes leading a team that included senior associate Marwa Elborai.

For Ziggo’s supervisory board, ABN AMRO advised on financial matters alongside Stibbe, which provided legal counsel on certain aspects of the offer. NautaDutilh is also acting for Ziggo’s financial advisers JP Morgan and Perella Weinberg Partners.

The highly-acquisitive London-headquartered Liberty already owns 28.5% of Ziggo, having built up the stake in the company since the 2012 initial public offering.

In a statement today (27 January), Ziggo chairman Andrew Sukawaty said the deal would create a “Dutch industry leader” together with existing Liberty portfolio company UPC Netherlands.

The deal increases Liberty’s share of the market to over 90% of Dutch homes.