Sullivan and Ashurst among advisers as Berendsen rejects £2bn bid from European rival

Sullivan & Cromwell and Ashurst are among a line-up of firms advising on a £2bn takeover bid for UK textile services company Berendsen by European rival Elis.

Elis, which is headquartered in France but has operations in multiple countries across Europe and South America, is a linen and workwear rental and maintenance company. Its bid for Berendsen values the London-based company at approximately £2.05bn.

Ashurst is advising Berendsen, while Sullivan is acting for Elis with a team led by European M&A co-head Tim Emmerson and M&A partner Ben Perry.

Other Sullivan partners on the deal include corporate partner Olivier de Vilmorin in Paris, London-based US M&A partners Nikolaos Andronikos and David Rockwell, London competition partner Juan Rodriguez and Paris tax partner Nicolas de Boynes.

Herbert Smith Freehills is advising Lazards, the financial advisers to Elis, with a team led by London corporate partner Mark Bardell.

In a statement, Berendsen said that its board had concluded that the revised proposal “very significantly undervalues” the company. Elis made two earlier private approaches to Berendsen, both of which were rejected by Berendsen’s board.

Earlier this year, Berendsen appointed Alice Darwall as general counsel. She was previously director of legal affairs for Proximity Advisors, prior to which she was general counsel for fashion business French Connection.

Last month, a Sullivan team also including Emmerson and Perry acted for London-listed property company Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate on its merger with its US parent company.