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7 January 2004 – LAWFUEL – Best for law news – Global law firm Cliff…

7 January 2004 – LAWFUEL – Best for law news – Global law firm Clifford Chance has retained the number one slot for the second year running in the European league tables published by Thomson Financial and Bloomberg for deals announced in 2004.

Globally, Clifford Chance was ranked third by Thomson Financial and fourth
in the Bloomberg tables.

According to the Bloomberg league tables, Clifford Chance’s European M&A
market share increased by 8 points in 2004, while Thomson Financial showed
an increase of six points.

In the most active countries across Europe, the firm was ranked number one
in the UK by mergermarket, second in France and Spain, third in Germany and
fourth in Italy – a consistent level of performance not matched by any other
firm. These results were consistent with the Thomson Financial tables, with
some variations from market to market.

David Childs, Clifford Chance global head of the corporate practice
commented:

“We have had a successful year in a period which has been characterised by a
real increase in M&A deal flow. Two highlights for us were deals which were
truly groundbreaking in their fields – Banco Santander’s successful bid for
Abbey National, and Lenovo’s acquisition of IBM’s PC business.

It is also satisfying to see the consistency of performance across our offices that is
evident from these league table results: we have worked on a significant
number of top-tier global and cross-border deals as well as some important
domestic deals in our principal European and US offices.

“As far as the market as a whole is concerned, we see increasing confidence
in a number of markets, especially the US, the UK and, increasingly, in
Asia. Other than the threat of terrorism, the biggest risk will be the
effect of a significantly weakening US dollar and, in particular, the
adverse consequences for the Euro zone.”
Major cross-border deals for 2004 included:
* Advising Banco Santander on its acquisition of Abbey
National in a deal valued at EUR12.6bn.

* Advising Lenovo Group on its acquisition of IBM’s
personal computing division for US$1.8bn.

* Advising Telefonica Moviles on its acquisition of
the Latin American cellular assets of Bell South Corporation for EUR4.7bn.
* Advising International Power plc on its acquisition
(in a consortium with Mitsui & Co., Ltd) of a portfolio of assets from
Edison Mission Energy, worth EUR4.6bn.

In the UK, highlight deals for 2004 included:

* Advising the Canary Wharf Group on its sale to a
group led by Morgan Stanley for EUR4.7bn.

* Advising Safeway plc on its sale to Wm. Morrison plc
for £4.3bn.

* Advising Multiplex, as part of a consortium
including Westgate, on the acquisition of Duelguide plc which was valued at
£2.2 bn.

* Advising CVC Capital Partners and Permira on their
acquisition of the Automobile Association for £2.2bn.

Other highlights included:
* In the US, the firm acted on the sale of NYSE-listed
client LNR Property Corp to an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management US
in a transaction valued at US$ 3.8bn.
* In France, the firm advised the consortium made up of
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Eurazeo and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity,
which agreed to acquire the stake of 73.45% in the share capital of Rexel SA
from Pinault-Printemps-Redoute for EUR3.7bn.
* In Germany, the firm advised Bayer AG on its
acquisition of Roche Consumer Health for EUR2.4bn.

* In Spain, the firm advised Shell on the sale of its
commercial and retail fuel businesses to Dica Corporacion for EUR500m.

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.