Freshfields, Linklaters and Sullivan lead as Goldman Sachs sells final stake in £2bn Rothesay

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Sullivan & Cromwell are taking the lead roles on Goldman Sachs’ sale of its remaining stake in Rothesay Life, in a deal that values the insurer at more than £2bn.

The stake is being sold to a consortium comprising private equity firm Blackstone, Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC and US insurance company Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance.

Goldman previously sold a part of its stake in Rothesay to the consortium in 2013. The value of the current deal is undisclosed, but Sky News has reported that the transaction values Rothesay at more than £2bn.

Freshfields is acting for the consortium, with private equity partner David Higgins and corporate partner James Scott leading the firm’s team on the deal.

Higgins, a longstanding adviser of GIC, acted on the consortium’s initial investment in Rothesay in 2013.

Speaking to Legal Week, Higgins said: “Consortium deals are always interesting because of the number of different parties involved, but this deal was more challenging and complicated than most because it is in a regulated area.”

Linklaters is acting for Rothesay, with corporate partner Matthew Bland taking the lead. Previous deals Bland has acted for Rothesay on include its £260m acquisition of pensions insurer Paternoster and its acquisition of annuity portfolios from Zurich Assurance and Aegon.

Goldman is being advised by Sullivan, which is fielding a London team led by the firm’s European M&A head Tim Emmerson, supported by corporate partner Ben Perry and competition partner Juan Rodriguez.

In April, Emmerson and Perry were part of a transatlantic team that advised London-listed property company Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate on its $4bn (£3.7bn) merger with its US parent company Kennedy Wilson Holdings.