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Link Group makes billion-dollar UK acquisition

Link Group makes billion-dollar UK acquisition


The ASX-listed technology solutions group has acquired a UK financial services company.

Firms: DLA Piper and Allen & Overy (Link Group)

Deal: Link Group acquired Capita Asset Services (CAS).

Value: $1.49 billion

Area: M&A

Key players: The DLA Piper team advising Link Group was led by corporate partner Grant Koch (pictured) and senior associate Adrian Tan. The team included over 120 lawyers across 10 jurisdictions, including UK-based partner Jon Hayes and senior associate Rebecca Holden, along with partners Michael McKee, Roger Gough and Peter Brook, and Australian partners Nicholas Turner and Onno Bakker.

The Allen & Overy team advising Link Group was led by equity capital markets partner Tony Sparks and US securities law partner Mark Leemen, with support from US counsel Cecile Baume, senior associate Madison Smith, associate Keegan Lopez and graduate-at-law Thomas Pertsoulis. 

Deal significance: ASX-listed Link Group has entered a binding agreement to acquire UK-based CAS from Capital Plc for £888 million (approx AU$1.49 billion).

Link Group is a provider of technology-enabled administration solutions to clients around the world.

It had bid for financial and administrative services provider CAS in a competitive sale process. DLA Piper also advised Link on the related acquisition debt financing of £485 million (approx AU$815 million).

Allen & Overy advised Link Group on its $883 million capital raising to partly fund the acquisition of CAS. Lead partner Tony Sparks said Allen & Overy drew on its Australian and US capital markets experience to advise on the deal. 

We are delighted to have acted for Link Group again on its first significant capital raising since the IPO, and on yet another particularly successful offer, he said.

This was another major transaction where we were able to offer both our Australian and US capital markets expertise on a combined basis.

The DLA Piper team comprised over 120 lawyers in 10 jurisdictions, drawn from the firm’s corporate, litigation and regulatory, employment, IPT, tax and finance teams.

“We are delighted to advise Link Group on this landmark transaction,” said lead partner Grant Koch.

“CAS has an established platform of scale providing a broad range of financial and administrative services in the UK and continental Europe. Once completed, the acquisition will provide Link Group with a substantial presence in the UK and a strong platform for expansion in Europe.

“It represents a very significant growth opportunity for our client, and DLA Piper’s global team looks forward to continuing our partnership with Link Group as it further expands its global operations.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed by 31 December 2017.

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