MATTHEW Ponsonby, co-head of mergers and acquisitions for Europe, the Middle East and Africa is one of the key players on the team advising International Power (IP).

The bank hired Ponsonby in 2009 to set up an M&A team in Europe, and he has since led a team advising car rental company Avis Europe on its recommended cash acquisition by US counterpart Avis Budget. He and his colleagues also advised George Soros on the sale of APR Energy, in which the billionaire philanthropist is a shareholder, to acquisition vehicle Horizon. On the International Power deal Ponsonby is working with some of the bank’s other M&A experts, Alisdair Gayne, Richard Taylor and Iain Smedley. Smedley, formerly of Nomura, was hired to run utilities investment banking in Europe.

Gayne is head of UK corporate broking and joined from Morgan Stanley where he was a managing director. Morgan Stanley is the joint broker to International Power with a team made up of Simon Smith, Chris Thiele, Laurence Hopkins and Paul Baker.

GDF Suez is being advised by Rothschild, with Richard Murley and Stuart Vincent on the team.