Allen & Overy is advising Imperial Tobacco Group PLC on the 558 million euro takeover of Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbH from Tchibo Holding AG. As a result, Imperial Tobacco has increased its Reemtsma shareholding from 90.01 to 99.2 per cent. Hamburg-based partners Hans Schoneweg and Reinhard Hermes are leading the firm’s team in Germany, assisted by associate Tilman Althaus. London-based partner Jeremy Parr is leading the team in the UK, assisted by associates Alison Hamer and Ian Borman.
The firm earlier advised China Life Insurance Company Ltd, China’s largest life insurer, on its initial public offering and listing on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in New York and Hong Kong on 17 and 18 December, respectively. China Life, headquartered in Beijing, had a 45 per cent share of the life insurance market in China in 2002. Lead partner, Michael Liu, said this was by far the most high profile IPO in 2003 as well as the largest equity offering globally this year.
Pillsbury Winthrop represented the underwriters including Barclays Capital Inc., BNY Capital Markets, Inc. and McDonald Investments Inc. in a US$165 ($230) million offering of floating rate senior notes due 2005 of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation. Pinnacle West Capital Corporation owns all of the outstanding shares of Arizona Public Service Company (APS), an electric utility that provides either retail or wholesale electric service to substantially all of the state of Arizona. APS also generates, sells and delivers electricity to wholesale customers in the western United States.
Peugeot SA has avoided a fine of 25 million euros after Linklaters successfully defended the company before the French Competition Council (CC) against allegations it had breached parallel import rules in the EU and France. The CC investigated Peugeot in response to a complaint from Syndicat des Professionnels Européens de l’Automobile, representing independent car distributors. It examined Peugeot’s practices between 1994 and 1997 in the French, Spanish and German automotive markets. Linklaters successfully argued Peugeot’s practices were in fact pro-competitive and benefited consumers. This was accepted by the French Competition Council on 23 December 2003.