Slaughters wins Vodafone India mandate in $23bn telecoms deal

Slaughter and May has won the lead role alongside three local firms on Vodafone India’s $23bn merger with rival telecoms company Idea.

Slaughters M&A head Roland Turnill is leading the firm’s team for Vodafone and its subsidiary Vodafone India.

The firm is working alongside New Delhi firm S&R Associates, with which it has a longstanding relationship. S&R partner Rachael Israel has been at the Indian-headquartered firm since 2006 and was a visiting lawyer to Slaughters in 2012.

Vodafone’s merger partner Idea sought legal advice from two local firms – Vaish Associates Advocates and Bharucha & Partners.

Under the terms of the agreement, Vodafone India will combine with Idea to create India’s largest telecoms operator.

Vodafone India will be deconsolidated by Vodafone and then described as a joint venture to reduce the company’s net debt by $8.2bn.

It will close during 2018.

Background to the deal

Slaughters partner Turnill has long advised Vodafone on various mergers across the world.

At around this time last year, Vodafone also announced a joint venture of its Dutch operations with Liberty Global. Turnill led on the deal alongside Susannah Mackay and worked with best friend NautaDutilh.

In 2013, Slaughters also won the lead mandate on the company’s $130bn acquisition of a stake in Verizon Wireless – one of the largest M&A deals at the time.

While Slaughters has become known for its advice on the large corporate transactions for Vodafone, the latter also sends work to a number of other large corporate firms such as Linklaters and DLA Piper. All firms are on the panel, as well as Norton Rose Fulbright, Osborne Clarke and Olswang.

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