United States > Media, technology and telecoms > Telecoms and broadcast: transactional
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Telecoms and broadcast: transactional
- Arent Fox LLP
- Baker Botts L.L.P.
Bingham McCutchen LLP
- Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
- Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
- O’Melveny & Myers LLP
- Paul Hastings LLP
- Proskauer Rose LLP
- Shearman & Sterling LLP
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Telecommunications Law Professionals
- Patrick Campbell - Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
- Howard Chatzinoff - Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Glenn Gerstell -
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
- Michael Gillespie - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
- John Janka - Latham & Watkins LLP
Andrew Lipman -
Bingham McCutchen LLP
Carl Northrop -
Telecommunications Law Professionals
- Mace Rosenstein - Covington & Burling LLP
Ivan Schlager -
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
- Robert Townsend - Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
Latham & Watkins LLP’s transactional prowess is supported by its global industry group and strength in related practice areas. The core group in Washington DC is supported by regulatory experts and litigators and handles big-ticket international deals, most recently advising Liberty Global on its $23.3bn acquisition of Virgin Media to create the world’s largest broadband company. The ‘highly responsive and thoroughly informed’ group combines transactional and regulatory strength to facilitate a high-volume of deals. Clients include acquirers and providers of telecommunications capacity and related services. Attorneys have broad experience in transactions for the purchase and supply of communications technology and related services including outsourcing, hosting and co-location, licensing and content distribution transactions. Clients describe practice head John Janka as ‘best in the business’, praising his ‘unparalleled market knowledge and deep insightful expertise’. Janka represented GeoEye in its $900m merger with Digital Globe to create a global leader in earth imagery and geospatial analysis and assisted antenna manufacturer Kymeta with a technology development agreement for mobile broadband terminals. David Blood and Alex Voxman in Los Angeles represented online sports publisher Bleacher Report in its sale to Turner Broadcasting System. James Barker and his team advised Yahoo! on its $270m acquisition of data valuation capabilities company interCLICK. The group represented Viasat in two bond offerings totaling $575m, a tender offer for $275m of 6.875% senior notes and refinancing a $325m credit facility. Christopher Kaufman in Menlo Park represented Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley in the Ruckus Wireless initial public offering (IPO). Clients recommend this ‘highly integrated team’ who ‘has a good sense on when to act and how hard to push’. Marquee clients include Arqiva, Time Warner Cable, Cricket Communications and Leap Wireless. Jarrett Taubman was promoted to counsel.
Covington & Burling LLP is recommended for ‘excellent industry knowledge of our industry and its clients’ specific needs’ handling some of the sector’s most prominent deals. The Washington DC group achieved a major victory for The Tennis Channel before the FCC against Comcast concerning the rights of independent program networks in program carriage disputes and is defending that judgment on appeal. Yaron Dori, co-chair of the communications and media practice, represented CenturyLink in transactional matters, including the sale of spectrum assets. Matthew DelNero represented debt and equity holders in NextWave Wireless in the sale of NextWave’s Wireless Communications Services (WCS) and Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) to AT&T in 2012’s largest spectrum transaction. Mace Rosenstein, chair of the technology and media group represented Microsoft Corp in its investments in and acquisitions of companies that provide regulated or quasi-regulated telecommunications services, such as VoIP, video and text message communications. Clients from wireless, wireline, broadcast, cable and media industries and investors, including banks and private equity firms, respect the group’s ‘profile and reputation’ and consider it ‘best of the best’. Douglas Gibson advises professional sports programmers, representing the NFL in its media negotiations with ESPN, CBS, FOX and NBC; Zuffa, parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, in its seven-year broadcast deal with FOX; and the US Olympic Committee in the sale of the US Olympic telecast and media rights. Kurt Wimmer advised Pearl Mobile DTV and Mobile Content Venture in negotiations to establish a nationwide platform for a fourth-quarter 2013 launch of mobile digital television services among NBC Universal, News Corp. and ten major broadcasters. Communications and media group co-chair Jennifer Johnson, together with DelNero, represented television broadcasters and networks including Newport Television, Univision, Bonten Media, Weigel Broadcasting and others in negotiating signal retransmission agreements and cable network distribution agreements with major cable and satellite companies. Johnson and Robert Long represented CBS Television Network Affiliates Association and the NBC Television Affiliates in the Supreme Court, successfully challenging the FCC’s determination that fleeting expletives and brief nudity are indecent under federal law.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s 35-lawyer media group, led by Richard Bohm and Michael Gillespie, undertakes M&A and capital markets work for major national and international clients. The telecoms group is integrated into the firm’s corporate practice and supported by its intellectual property strength. Gillespie represented the independent directors of News Corporation regarding investigations arising out of allegations regarding News of the World. William Regner and Jeffrey Rosen represented Verizon Wireless in its $3.6bn acquisition of Advanced Wireless Services spectrum licenses, and Verizon Communications in its $612m acquisition of Hughes Telematics. Paul Bird and his team are acting for The Carlyle Group in a partnership agreement with Getty Images management to acquire Getty Images for $3.3bn. Bohm represented Ronald Lauder in a series of agreements between Central European Media Enterprises and its major shareholders Time Warner and Ronald Lauder, to fund offers to purchase an aggregate of $300m of its debt. Other clients include Alibaba, Amazon.com, Globo Organization and NBC Universal.
While Dow Lohnes PLLC is substantially smaller and the only domestic firm to provide genuine competition to the international giants in this sector, the group, led by managing partner John Byrnes, combines regulatory and transactional expertise and routinely assists leading media and broadcast companies and major investors in communications with high-profile, high-value transactions and complex ownership issues. John Feore served as regulatory counsel to SoftBank in its $20.1bn acquisition of a 70% stake in Sprint Nextel, in Japan’s largest ever overseas acquisition, and Kevin Mills is representing full-service telecommunications company Insight Communications on its $3bn acquisition by Time Warner Cable. J G Harrington served as regulatory counsel to Cox Communications in the sale of 120MHz of Advanced Wireless Spectrum to Verizon Wireless as part of a $3.6bn transaction. Michael Basile, who combines regulatory skills with expertise in complex mergers, acquisitions and financing transactions, advised Cox Media Group on the purchase of several television stations and the realignment of its broadcast portfolio.
Hogan Lovells LLP’s telecommunications group, led by Stephen Kay in Los Angeles and Steven Kaufman in Washington DC, is supported by the firm’s global reach and regulatory prowess. Recently promoted partner Randy Segal in McLean represented longstanding client Orbital Sciences Corporation in satellite related acquisitions and dispositions, strategic joint ventures and global satellite program issues. He advised Columbia Capital on US and international telecommunications investment activities. A team led by Alexander Johnson in New York represented News Corporation in numerous transactions, notably the acquisition from Disney and ESPN of ESPN’s equity interest in ESPN STAR Sports (ESS), giving News Corporation full ownership of ESS. The group advised Fox International Channels on its joint venture with RCN in Columbia to launch Spanish language television network MundoFox. Johnson advised on Hulu’s acquisition of the equity stake in the company previously held by Providence Equity Partners. Kaufman is advising General Electric Capital Corporation in the $228m sale of the GE-23 Satellite to Eutelsat. Other high-profile clients include Verizon Communications, PAETEC, Knology and the Mexican Government.
Glenn Gerstell, managing partner of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP’s Washington DC office, is head of the global interdisciplinary communications group. New York partner Peter Nesgos heads the firm’s space and satellite group, supported by Dara Panahy in Washington DC. The group is involved in most of the leading financing and transactional matters in the communications, space and satellite business. Gerstell led a team representing the underwriters in the $800m Bharti Infratel IPO. Bharti spun-off its cell towers into a separate subsidiary and listed it on the Singapore stock exchange. He is advising project company Seaborn Networks on Seabras-1, the first direct submarine cable between the United States and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Gerstell and Nesgos are representing Mexican satellite operator Satmex and Hong Kong satellite operator Asia Broadcast Satellite in the purchase from Boeing Satellite Systems and the launch by Space Exploration Technologies of four firm and four optional geostationary communications satellites in an innovative joint procurement valued at $1.2bn. Gerstell continued to represent longstanding client América Móvil. Panahy is representing JPMorgan Chase Bank in the $882m senior credit facility to the Federal Government of the United Mexican States, supported by US Ex-Im Bank for the financing of Centenario and Morelos mobile communications satellites manufactured by Boeing Satellite Systems and the Bicentenario fixed services communications satellite manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP’s telecoms group, led by Patrick Campbell in Washington DC, is supported by the firm’s strong corporate practice and international presence. Campbell is recognized as a leader in the telecommunications and satellite space, representing satellite operators on corporate issues and before the FCC. Recent highlights include representing Oak Hill Capital Partners in the acquisition of Wave Technologies. The group has acted on a significant number of big-ticket deals representing industry leaders and investors in the sector. Bruce Gutenplan in New York represented Soros Fund Management in its control investment in Quattro Consultoria em Telecomunicações, a wireless broadband network provider in Sao Paulo, Brazil and TowerCo II in its $1.48bn acquisition by SBA Communications. Corporate partners Ariel Deckelbaum and Robert Schumer represented longstanding client Time Warner Cable in its $3bn acquisition of Insight Communications. Charles Googe, who heads the firm’s IP practice, represents telecommunications, broadcast and satellite industry clients.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is broadly recognized for its regulatory and transactional strength, its international reach and its ability to handle high-profile, big-ticket deals. The communications group, led by the highly respected Antoinette Cook Bush in Washington DC, whose clients include Virgin Mobile, Viacom and Univision Communications, acts on the industry’s most prominent transactions; alongside Thomas Kennedy in New York and Jeremy London, she represented Sprint Nextel in its $20.1bn sale of a 70% stake in the company to Japan’s Softbank in the largest ever overseas acquisition by a Japanese company. Howard Ellin and Lou Kling represented NDS Group and its owners News Corporation and Permira, in its sale to Cisco, and advised News Corporation in connection with the potential separation of its publishing and entertainment businesses. The firm advised A&E Television networks on the financing of NBCUniversal Media’s $3bn sale of its 15.8% stake in A&E to The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Corporation. Ivan Schlager and John Beahn represented Hughes Telematics in its $730 acquisition by Verizon Communications. Other key clients include Freedom Communications, DISH Network Corporation and Credit Suisse.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s telecom and broadcast transactional group handles big-ticket media transactions for prominent industry players and large investors in the communications space. According to clients, lawyers ‘give objective, clear advice and help achieve difficult objectives in complex transactions’. ‘Spectacular transactional lawyer’ Howard Chatzinoff leads the New York team, which features private-equity specialist Michael Weisser and is supported by the firm’s IP strength, notably IP media specialists Michael Epstein, Jeffrey Osterman and Charan Sandhu. Chatzinoff and Michael Lubowitz represented CBS Corporation in the formation of CBS Sports Radio, the largest major market sports radio network in the US. The team is advising DIRECTV Holdings in multiple financing transactions. The practice handles cross-border and international work, with an international team, which included several New York partners advising Mubadala on its joint venture with Sony/ATV to acquire EMI Group’s music publishing business for $2.2bn. The team also advised on financing aspects of the transaction. Other key clients include Univision Communications, Newport Television, Providence Equity and Guggenheim Partners.
Telecoms boutique Wiley Rein LLP fields the largest team of full-time communications and telecommunications attorneys in the United States, acting on some of the most significant transactions in the sector. Name partner Richard Wiley and his team served as FCC counsel to Deutsche Telekom in the aborted $39bn sale of T-Mobile USA to AT&T. Subsequently, the group advised Deutsche Telekom on the acquisition of $3bn in spectrum from AT&T as part of the $6bn break-up fee. Nancy Victory represented Verizon Wireless in the $3.9bn acquisition of Spectrum from Spectrum Co and Cox. Jennifer Hindin and Bert Rein advised on the Intelsat $1.75bn IPO.
Arent Fox LLP’s 12-lawyer practice, led by Ross Buntrock, represents smaller carriers and start-ups in negotiations with content providers and disputes with the large telecoms operators and incumbents. Particular strengths are mobile issues, representing startups and handling government relations. Michael Hazzard continues to represent cloud communications company Twilio. Jonathan Canis successfully secured for the Ogala Sioux Tribe a high-quality wireless phone service and a substantial annual cash payment from AT&T in return for the use of tribal land to maintain AT&T’s radio towers. Stephanie Joyce is transactional counsel for DecisionQ, a creator of mathematical programs for data analysis and predictive modeling. Alan Fishel represents Internet2. Other clients include Securus Technologies, Intelepeer and the Application Developers Alliance.
Baker Botts L.L.P. is recognized for its longstanding representation of leading organizations and entrepreneurs in groundbreaking transactions that have shaped the telecommunications and broadcasting industry. Practice head Robert Murray and Frederick McGrath in New York, assisted Liberty Media Corporation with spinning off all of its businesses not associated with Starz. In Dallas, the ‘excellent, business-focused’ Don McDermett and Brian Henchey advise Samsung Telecommunications America. Henchey advised Mediacom Communications Corporation in its distribution agreement with TiVo to provide TiVo’s next-generation whole home DVR solution to Mediacom subscribers. A prestigious client list includes Liberty Global, AT&T, Ascent Media Corporation and Cisco.
At Bingham McCutchen LLP, Andrew Lipman and his 17-partner team in Washington DC team undertake corporate finance transactions including the purchase, sale, financing and exchange of network facilities and services, mergers and acquisitions, private and public issuances of equity and debt securities, IPOs, syndicated loans and vendor financings. The practice handles prominent US and international communications transactions. In 2012, the team represented Level 3 in nationwide proceedings in connection with over $4bn in debt and equity funding as well as in FCC matters concerning Comcast’s last-mile delivery charges. Practice co-head Catherine Wang represented Deere & Company on commercial transactions regarding the development of new wireless and data services for the agricultural sector, and in a high-profile dispute over spectrum allocation. Lipman and Jean Kiddoo advised Zayo Group on the regulatory aspects of the $2.2bn acquisition of AboveNet Communications and the $345m acquisition of 360Networks. William Wilhelm represents Vonage. The team acted in numerous competitive carrier acquisitions and provides regulatory and corporate advice to competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) and foreign carriers. Clients ‘think very highly’ of Douglas Orvis, Ulises Pin, and Russell Blau.
At Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, Chérie Kiser in Washington DC and her six-lawyer team handled over 35 transactions in 2012, notably representing Polycom in a transition services agreement as part of the $89m purchase of a business segment from Hewlett-Packard, and negotiating with vendors in relation to the operation of Tele-Presence in 27 countries. The team represented Global Tel*Link in relation to its sale to American Securities, and Birch Communications in the purchase of DayStar Communications and Astro Tel. Cable One and Blackbird are key clients. The group represented numerous investment and commercial banks in relation to telecoms-related financing and capital markets work.
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP’s multidisciplinary telecoms transactional team focuses on M&A and capital markets work and other complex financing transactions, representing telecoms providers and the banks financing the deals. The group handles high-profile, big-ticket work with Robert Townsend representing Citigroup Global Markets, Rothschild and UBS Investment Bank as co-financial advisors to Sprint Nextel in connection with the $20.1bn acquisition by Softbank of a 70% stake in the company. Damien Zoubek and Scott Barshay represented Qualcomm in its $3.1bn acquisition of Atheros Communications and related matters. International capital markets work included corporate partner B Robbins Kiessling acting for Cincinnati Bell with a senior secured $200m revolving credit facility, and CyrusOne, which provides colocation data centers and data center services, with a senior secured $225m revolving credit facility. George Zobitz acted for Crown Castle International as borrower with $3.1bn of credit facilities. Craig Arcella is also recommended on the banking side.
Dentons’ telecommunications group, led by Todd Daubert in Washington DC, handles a wide range of traditional and cutting edge transactions, notably representing Southern Communications Services in more than 40 interconnection agreements with carriers in Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Lisa Weiss in New York represented Al Jazeera English in its negotiation of an affiliation agreement with Time Warner Cable for US carriage. Weiss and her team acted as US local counsel for EMI Group in connection with the sale of tis music publishing operations to Sony/ATV Music. T-Mobile USA is another key client.
O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s transactional group, led by Joseph Calabrese, handles international broadcasting transactions relating to sport and entertainment, M&A deals and film financing arrangements. Clients appreciate lawyers’ ‘vast experience, common sense, high intelligence and personal integrity’. 2012 was a particularly busy year for sports broadcasting work, with the team advising the International Olympic Committee. In terms of content work, Christopher Brearton in Century City represented DreamWorks Animation on its ‘game changing’ subscription video-on-demand deal with Netflix; its acquisition of Classic Media; and its five-year distribution deal with Twentieth Century Fox. Calabrese, Robert Haymer and Nancy Bruington advised Legendary Pictures in a new $150m credit facility as well as on production, financing and distribution arrangements for Seventh Son. The team advised Lions Gate Entertainment in its $410m purchase of Summit Entertainment and in connection with an $800m revolving credit facility. A prestigious client list includes Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Univision Communications and Warner Bros. The team was strengthened by the arrival of Bruce Tobey from CBS Films.
Eric Greenberg leads Paul Hastings LLP’s 13-partner communications and media department, which applies its regulatory expertise to sophisticated, big-ticket transactions on the strategic and financing sides. Greenberg represented LIN Media in the $350m acquisition of 13 network affiliates from New Vision Television, including acquisition financing through a major new bond offering. Tara Giunta and Matthew Gibson obtained approval from the FCC and Team Telecom in the acquisition of UPN Holdings by newly formed fund of private equity player, Ridgemont Equity. The team served as special communications counsel to Bank of America Merrill Lynch as sole lead arranger for the committed debt financing of Cogeco Cable’s $1.36bn acquisition of Atlantic Broadband. Lincoln Financial Media is a new client.
Proskauer Rose LLP’s highly respected co-head of the technology, media and communications group, former computer scientist Jeffrey Neuburger operates at the intersection of technology, telecoms and broadcast, applying new media, data privacy and security expertise to the telecom and broadcast sector. He continues to represent Time Warner Cable in a series of relationships for ‘TV Everywhere’, which gives consumers access to cable programming through connected consumer electronics devices. Together with Robert Freeman and Joseph Leccese, Neuburger represented Time Warner Cable Regional Sports Networks in agreements relating to the launch of two regional sports networks featuring live football games. Freeman represented Scripps Interactive Networks a multi-year distribution agreement with Comcast that will enable Comcast to distribute Scripps video content across a range of networks, devices and platforms. Lauren Boglivi represented Discovery Communications in the sale of CSS Studios, and Michael Woronoff represented Third Point Capital in its provision of equity and debt financing for the purchase of Variety by Deadline Business Media. A prestigious client list includes CBS Sports Network, Elsevier and Insight Communications.
Shearman & Sterling LLP’s global media, entertainment and telecom group handles big-ticket, fast moving transactions for institutional clients, and is recommended for providing ‘outstanding legal representation and deal execution on highly complex transactions’. The telecoms and broadcasting group, led by David Connolly and Kenneth Laverriere in New York, is supported by the firm’s global reach and breadth of expertise across IP, technology, media and sport. Recent highlights include George Casey advising Liberty Global in its pending $23.3bn acquisition of Virgin Media in a stock and cash merger transaction. New York capital markets partners Stephen Giove and Lisa Jacobs advised Viacom on the issuance of Senior Notes. In San Francisco, Steve Camahort and his team advised Twitter in its acquisition of internet security firm Dasient. Samuel Waxman advised Nokia Siemens Networks in its sale to a subsidiary of Acacia Research Corporation of a patent portfolio for wireless infrastructure and user equipment technology relating to second (2G), third (3G) and fourth (4G) generation wireless technologies and its license agreement with Acacia Research Corporation subsidiary ADAPTIX. Former practice head Christa D’Alimonte left the firm to join longstanding client Viacom.
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s Brian Weimer provides transactional and regulatory advice to satellite, wireless and broadcasting companies, handling M&A and financing matters and advising on the regulatory issues presented by these transactions. Recent mandates include advising General Electric Capital Corp (GECC) on regulatory matters in the sale of the GE-23 satellite to Eutelsat America and on the sale of European satellite services business Satlynx to US-based Trustcomm. He acted as special FCC and satellite industry counsel to the unsecured creditors of TerreStar in bankruptcy until its sale to DISH Networks for $1.38bn in March 2012.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s transactional work is supported by its regulatory prowess, representing many of the world’s leading and most innovative companies in the wireline, wireless, satellite, media, and internet sectors. Pantelis Michalopoulos in Washington DC and his team handled prominent, big-ticket transactions, notably representing DISH in several matters, notably its plan to roll out a hybrid satellite/terrestrial service that will provide a mobile broadband network across the US. This initiative was driven by DISH’s acquisition of bankrupt satellite operators TerreStar Networks and DBDS North America. Alfred Mamlet represented Artel on a joint venture with Boeing to provide satellite services. Key clients include EchoStar Corporation, Hughes Network Systems, AOL and Cricket Communications.
At telecoms boutique Telecommunications Law Professionals, Carl Northrop is acting as lead FCC regulatory counsel for MetroPCS in connection with its merger withT-Mobile. He advised General Communication Inc (GCI) on its joint venture with Alaska Communications Systems to create The Alaska Wireless Network. The group provides ongoing corporate and regulatory advice to Triad Communications, most recently in connection with the sale of 700MHz B Block licenses to AT&T. Clear Channel Communications is another key client.