Three City firms line up for £1bn Aldermore takeover

Linklaters is advising challenger bank Aldermore on its potential £1.1bn sale to DLA Piper client FirstRand.

Corporate partner Iain Wagstaff is leading the Linklaters team for Aldermore, supported by associate Alex Lehtinen.

South Africa-headquartered FirstRand has turned to DLA Piper, whose team is understood to be led by UK head of corporate Charles Cook.

On the financial side, Ashurst banking partner Tim Rennie and corporate partner Karen Davies are advising FirstRand’s adviser Credit Suisse in relation to the offer.

Aldermore revealed it had received an offer from FirstRand this morning as part of its interim management statement for Q3 2017.

The bank, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2015, said its new lending figures had grown to £2.4bn, driving loan book growth of £0.9bn to £8.4bn.

FirstRand is South Africa’s largest financial services institution and is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Background to the deal

Linklaters has been Aldermore’s key adviser since 2015 when corporate partner Wagstaff won the competitive pitch process for the initial public offering. It marked the first time the firm had been instructed by Aldermore, although private equity partner Evans had an existing relationship with its majority shareholder AnaCap.

It was the second time Aldermore has announced its intention to float on the LSE, after its first attempt was pulled in October 2014. Herbert Smith Freehills advised the underwriters Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank on the listing.

DLA Piper is understood to hold the FirstRand relationship from South Africa, with corporate director Johannes Gouws acting on corporate deals from Johannesburg for the bank. Over the summer DLA Piper also launched a tax practice in the region, hiring FirstRand tax specialist Andrew Lewis as a director.

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