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Laura Ackroyd is a corporate lawyer specialising in public takeovers and cross-border M&A.

Laura is a cross-border public and private M&A specialist with a wealth of experience advising on recommended and hostile public company takeovers for both bidders and targets, private acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures and corporate restructurings. She also regularly assists investors and listed companies with corporate governance and capital markets matters, including engaged shareholder campaigns. She has previously spent time on secondment to the M&A team of Pearson plc, a FTSE 100 client, and to PJT Partners, an advisory-focused investment bank.

Laura was a member of the London Corporate team awarded the Corporate Team of the Year award at The Lawyer Awards 2019 and named as M&A Team of the Year (Large Deal) at the 2018 British Legal Awards. Both awards were made in recognition of the team’s work advising Sky plc on the competing takeover offers from 21st Century Fox and Comcast Corporation.

Experience & expertise

Selected matters

  • Wincanton plc on the recommended £960 million all cash takeover by GXO Logistics, Inc and competing bid from CMA CGM
  • MGM Resorts International on its c.US$11 billion possible offer for Entain plc
  • Sky on its $39bn competing takeover situation involving 21st Century Fox, Disney and Comcast Corporation
  • Polyus Gold International Limited on a US$9 billion unsolicited takeover offer by Sacturino Limited
  • a number of confidential buyside roles, for a variety of PE sponsors and investors, on consortium takeovers of UK listed targets across a number of sectors
  • Mercuria Energy Group on the sale of Tailwind Energy Investments Ltd to Serica Energy plc for cash and share consideration of £367 million and its ongoing governance rights and relationship agreement with Serica Energy plc
  • Virgin Media O2 on its £360 million sale of a minority stake in mobile towers JV Cornerstone to GLIL Infrastructure LLP
  • Pearson on a number of transactions, including the sale of its local K12 Courseware businesses in Italy and Germany to Sanoma Corporation, in South Africa to Novus Holdings, and in French Canada and in Hong Kong, and various share buyback programmes
  • General Mills Inc on the sale of its European dough business to Cérélia
  • the Ardonagh Group on its acquisition of Usay Group Limited, one of the UK's largest personal medical and protection insurance brokers
  • British Land, and on the sale of its Broadgate Estates third party property management portfolio to Savills
  • Clear.Bank on its establishment as the UK's first new clearing bank in 250 years, and subsequent equity investments by CFFI Ventures, PPF Holdings and Apax Digital and ongoing shareholder arrangements
  • Virgin Group on its announced disposal of a 31% stake in Virgin Atlantic to Air France-KLM and the resulting three-party joint venture between them and Delta Air Lines
  • Telefonica on the proposed £10 billion sale of O2 to Hutchison Whampoa/Three
  • Ferrexpo plc on its crisis management response to the incursion by Russian armed forces into the territory of Ukraine
  • Anglo American on various matters, including aspects of its acquisition of Sirius Minerals
  • BHP on various matters, including divestments of mining assets and corporate governance matters