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March 31, 2011 2:30 PM

Slaughter and May, Davis Polk Lead as Taylor Wimpey Sheds North American Units

Posted by Chris Johnson

Slaughter and May and Davis Polk & Wardwell have combined to advise U.K. home builder Taylor Wimpey plc on the $955 million sale of its North American businesses to private equity consortium TMM Holdings Limited Partnership.

Taylor Wimpey, the country's second-largest house builder, said in a press release that the sale of Taylor Woodrow Holdings (USA), Inc. and Taylor Wimpey Holdings of Canada, Corporation was designed to reduce the parent company's debt levels and pension deficit, and to allow it to refocus on its core domestic housing operations.

The deal--which is due to close in May, subject to shareholder approval--represents a 3.4 percent premium on the company's net asset value. Taylor Wimpey's shares rose by 3 percent following the announcement.

Taylor Wimpey was advised by Slaughter corporate partner Jeff Twentyman, working alongside a Davis Polk team headed by Nigel Wilson and John Knight in New York. Canadian firm McMillan acted for Taylor Wimpey on local law aspects.

TMM Holdings, which comprises TPG Capital, L.P.; Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.; and JH Investments Inc., was repped by a Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison team headed by New York corporate partner Matthew Abbott, and McCarthy T├Ętrault in Canada. TPG also received advice from Montreal-based M&A partners John Leopold and Dean Koumanakos at Canadian firm Stikeman Elliott. J. P. Morgan Cazenove and HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc., which acted as financial advisers on the deal, did not instruct outside counsel.

Taylor Wimpey is a long-standing Slaughter client. In April 2009 the firm acted on its $4 billion debt restructuring, and a month later again teamed up with Davis Polk to handle its $820 million fund-raising.

Taylor Wimpey reviewed its two main U.K. legal panels last summer, according to The Lawyer, cutting the list of advisers it appointed to the three-year property and litigation lists by half.

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