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October 11, 2010 2:00 PM

Skadden Scores Role on Renault's $4.2 Billion Volvo Sale

Posted by Brian Baxter

CORRECTION: 10/12/10, 8:00 a.m. A previous version of this post stated that Sullivan & Cromwell represented Volvo AB on the deal. We regret the error.

Renault has agreed to sell its stake--roughly 300 million shares--in Swedish truck maker Volvo AB to institutional investors for $4.2 billion. The deal will allow the French carmaker to use the proceeds to pay down debt.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is advising Renault on the deal, according to U.K. publication Legal Week. The transaction is one of the largest Scandinavian equity deals of the past decade. The sale of Renault's shares represents almost 15 percent of the share capital and nearly 4 percent of the voting rights in Gothenburg-Sweden based Volvo AB.

"This was the biggest block trade in Europe to happen with one single bookrunner [Goldman Sachs], which meant that there was no syndicate to deal with," the managing partner of Skadden's Paris office, Pierre Servan-Schreiber, told Legal Week. "The deal was done between sunset and sunrise, which was fascinating."

Servan-Schreiber led a team from the firm's Paris and London offices advising Renault that included corporate partners Pascal Bine and Richard Muglia, counsel James McDonald, and associates Cedric Lor, Sidne Koenigsberg, and Paolo Mara.

Skadden previously advised Renault on its $1.3 billion acquisition of a 25 percent stake in Russian automaker AvtoVAZ (the company makes Lada cars) and 2003 sale of its agricultural unit to German machinery manufacturer Claas. Renault trails only PSA Peugeot-Citroen as France's largest automaker.

Legal Week reports that Skadden was the only firm advising Renault on the sale of its shares in Volvo AB. (Volvo AB is not to be confused with Gothenburg-based Volvo Car Corporation, which was sold by the Ford Motor Company earlier this year to Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding for $1.8 billion.)

Sullivan & Cromwell previously advised the suburban Paris-based automaker when it inked an international joint venture auto alliance with Nissan and Daimler earlier this year, according to this story by Legal Week.

Eva Persson serves as Volvo AB's senior vice president and general counsel. The head of Renault's legal department is Christian Husson.

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