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Trowers & Hamlins advises on sale of 49.9 per cent stake in Lloyds Register Fairplay Limited

Trowers & Hamlins advises on sale of 49.9 per cent stake in Lloyds Register Fairplay Limited

City and international law firm Trowers & Hamlins LLP has advised Lloyd's Register on the sale of its 49.9 per cent. stake in Lloyd's Register-Fairplay Limited (LRF) to IHS Inc (IHS) via its Prime Group Holdings Limited subsidiary (Prime) for £40 million.

Lloyd's Register became a 50:50 joint venture partner in LRF in June 2001 having transferred its maritime information publishing business to Prime Publications Limited (Prime's parent company) in exchange for a 50 per cent. stake in LRF. IHS, a leading global source of critical information and insight and listed on the New York Stock Exchange, became a 50:50 partner in LRF in March 2008 with the acquisition of Prime Publications Limited.

Richard Sadler, CEO of Lloyd's Register commented: "Lloyd's Register's strategy is focused on becoming the leading provider of independent assurance services to the energy and transportation sectors, ensuring safe, sustainable and reliable supply chains. Our investment in LRF was not closely aligned to this strategy. Therefore, we believe that the future of LRF is better served through 100% ownership by a major business information group, and our interest in producing the definitive Register of Ships is better served through a commercial services agreement with IHS. This allows us to focus on our core business, and it also allows IHS to fully integrate LRF into its global network. We have achieved, in our view, a strong price of £40m for our shareholding. This is a mutually beneficial deal and we look forward to building on our excellent relationship with IHS."

Charles Wilson, partner at Trowers & Hamlins commented that: "We are delighted to have acted for Lloyd's Register on the sale of its shareholding in LRF and advised on agreements under which Lloyd's Register and LRF will continue to work together in the future. The arrangements put in place include a right for LRF to publish the Register of Ships, widely recognised as the premier source of reference on all sea-going, self-propelled merchant ships of 100 GT and above, irrespective of their classification society. Lloyd's Register has retained ownership of the intellectual property rights in the Register. Lloyd's Register has allowed LRF to use the Lloyd's Register name for a period of 12 months, in order for LRF to transition to a new company name and revise its product and service names."

The Trowers & Hamlins team was led by corporate partner Charles Wilson, assisted by corporate associate Youssef Boulos. Matthew Blows, a corporate partner and Mark Slade, a corporate associate at Macfarlanes LLP acted for Prime.