Freshfields and Linklaters take key roles on ready meal supplier Bakkavor's London IPO

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters are advising on the London initial public offering (IPO) of ready meals giant Bakkavor.

The company, which was founded in Iceland in 1986 but is now primarily based in the UK, took in revenues of almost £1.8bn last year. It announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange yesterday (10 October), and is set to list at least 25% of the company.

Bakkavor supplies ready meals to UK retailers including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, while it also has international operations in the US and China.

Icelandic brothers Agust and Lydur Gudmundsson currently own 59% of the company, while US hedge fund Baupost owns the remaining 41%.

Freshfields is playing the key role for the company, with capital markets partner Mark Austin and corporate partner Adrian Maguire leading the firm’s team

Linklaters is advising the underwriters on the IPO with its team led by capital markets partners Jason Manketo and John Lane.

The key banks on the IPO are HSBC (joint global coordinator, joint bookrunner and sponsor), Morgan Stanley (joint global coordinator and joint bookrunner), Barclays (joint bookrunner), Citi (joint bookrunner), Peel Hunt (joint lead manager), Rabobank (joint lead manager) and Rothschild (financial adviser).

Speaking to Legal Week, Manketo said: “The current market environment for primary and secondary equity issuances is positive, and the potential pipeline of further issuances suggests this trend will continue through the end of 2017 and into 2018.”

Linklaters is also acting for the banks on the IPO of Russian aluminium company En+, which last week announced its intention to float in both London and Moscow.

The group, which is controlled by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, had revenues of $9.7bn (£7.3bn) last year and intends to raise more than $1.5bn (£1.14bn) via its flotation.

White & Case is advising the company with a team led by Russian capital markets head Darina Lozovsky and London capital markets partner Jonathan Parry.

The banks involved in the listing are Citigroup, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan Securities, Merrill Lynch International, SIB, VTB Capital, BMO Capital Markets, JSC Gazprombank and Societe Generale.

Both Bakkavor and En+ are aiming to be admitted to the London Stock Exchange next month.

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