Case Study 3

Simmons & Simmons was instructed to act for Telefónica when it made a recommended cash offer for the entire issued share capital of O2. The offer valued O2 at over £17bn, and represented the largest all cash deal ever done in the UK. The transaction required legal advice from all areas of the firm, led by Corporate.

The Simmons & Simmons team was able to work very closely with the in-house M&A team of Telefónica in both Madrid and London to ensure that the bid was successfully implemented in accordance with the rules and practice of the UK regime. This co-operation involved presentations, document production and a number of face-to-face briefing meetings, enabling us to develop a close working relationship with Telefónica that has subsequently led to a number of further instructions.

"The O2 plc acquisition is the largest ever made by Telefónica, the largest ever all cash bid for a UK target and one of the largest ever in the Telecom sector. Therefore it was essential for us to have the best legal service and to be able to count on a firm which we could trust. We were looking for a reputed M&A team which could deliver excellent service – and not just by the book but also adapting themselves to the requirements, culture and restrictions of a big Corporation like ours.

The corporate team [at Simmons & Simmons] effectively and efficiently rose to the challenge, pulling together a team of over 60 lawyers from four offices to advise on very different legal aspects of the deal, including corporate finance, EC/competition, tax and banking. Simmons & Simmons has deployed all of its energy and commitment to getting the deal done and all of our team involved in this transaction have very much enjoyed working with them.”

Ramiro Sanchez de Lerin, General Secretary, Telefónica S.A.