Freshfields advised Anheuser-Busch in $127.8b SABMiller merger

Freshfields is expected to have bagged the biggest slice of the nearly $350m legal bill.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has confirmed its role in the world’s largest beer merger yet, the $127.8b megamerger between Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller.
Freshfields advised Anheuser-Busch InBev – the world’s largest brewer and owner of the Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona brands – in the deal which closed 11 October.
As the lead legal adviser to Anheuser-Busch InBev, Freshfields is expected to have bagged the biggest slice of fees.
The Freshfields team was led on the corporate side by partners Simon Marchant, Alison Smith and Vincent Macq, and on the antitrust side by partners John Davies and Thomas Janssens.
“The project was unique due to its huge scale and global reach and demonstrated Freshfields’ ability to work seamlessly across borders,” the Magic Circle firm said.
According to a scheme document from SABMiller which was widely circulated last month, total professional advisory fees for the massive deal was about $2.58b with law firms estimated to have billed $347.3m.
Anheuser-Busch InBev was expected to pay law firms more than $246m while SABMiller was expected to pay law firms more than $101m.
Anheuser-Busch InBev has also instructed Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Sullivan & Cromwell while controlling shareholders of the company were advised by Clifford Chance.
SABMiller is understood to have tapped BigLaws Linklaters and Hogan Lovells for legal advice while Herbert Smith Freehills has previously been reported to be acting on behalf of BevCo, the second largest SABMiller shareholder.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz are also said to have advised other shareholders of SABMiller.
The combined company has more than $73b in annual revenues and approximately 28% global market share in the beer industry.

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