M&A: large deals ($1bn+) in United States
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has a major presence in headline M&A, and is regarded by some as a 'go-to' firm for large, complex, strategic transactions. The M&A practice is jointly headed by the highly-regarded combination of Faiza Saeed, Mark Greene, Robert Townsend III, and Richard Hall, with each lawyer playing a key role in the firm's transactional highlight reel over the past year. Standout mandates are undoubtedly those from Disney, encompassing almost $100bn in deals relating to the client's acquisition of Fox and related divestments. The Disney transactions serve as a key example of the firm's capabilities in high-value and complex international transactions, though the team has had equally impressive showings in the energy, minerals, healthcare and pharmaceuticals sectors. Another 'outstanding' partner is Damien Zoubek, who is acting as a lead counsel alongside Saeed and Keith Hallam in relation to Viacom's upcoming $30bn merger with CBS. Of note, the combination of mandates from Viacom and Disney has seen the firm play a major role in two of the headline transactions in media and entertainment in the past year. Ting Chen has been especially active in retail-sector transactions, while Aaron Gruber and Thomas Dunn are playing key roles on behalf of Mylan in the pending $50bn combination with Pfizer subsidiary Upjohn. The team is also impressively versatile, with lawyers experienced in corporate advisory work, shareholder activism, and hostile takeover defense, producing a well-rounded service across all possible M&A-related matters.
Faiza Saeed; Mark Greene; Robert Townsend III; Richard Hall
‘Talking quietly but carrying a very big stick. Extremely discreet action, extremely efficient.‘
‘The Cravath team is always going to be my “go-to” team when it comes to large, complex and/or strategic transactions. Like many firms who practice M&A, they surely know the latest legal, regulatory and contractual issue. But, two things set them apart from the rest: (1) they go to great pains to understand your business, why the deal is strategically important, and then actually reflect that in their work; (2) their practical and pragmatic approach. Their approach feels very curated. It’s not a “rinse and repeat” M&A practice where each deal looks the same. They understand that deals are done for different reasons and that, naturally, that changes the strategy and approach to the deal. In the end, this results in a better deal.‘
‘Damien Zoubek’s work is outstanding and always on-point. But more important than just getting the papers right is his ability to understand that every deal is different, that the motivations for each deal are different, that the players involved are different, and that the desired outcomes may be different. His ability to pivot, adjust and narrowly tailor each deal to a different set of circumstances is simply better than everyone else. Moreover, even in the most tense situations and the long hours, Damien always finds a way to make the client feel that every deal is extremely personal to him. ‘
‘Extraordinary effort that deal team put into matter, very commercial approach based on first class legal skills and market knowledge.‘
‘Superhuman performance skills.‘
‘Cravath lawyers provide excellent advice targeted to your business and needs. They are always available and listen attentively to our requirements.‘
‘Our relationship partners really know our M&A requirements inside and out – many times even better than we know ourselves. Partners provide practical, expert advice in a timely fashion. Our definitive agreements reflect our requirements and Cravath really fights for our positions and interests.‘
‘Highly skilled practitioners with the ability to implement the most complex structures but distil them in a sensible form for less-seasoned client personnel and counterparties. Attention to detail that makes finding a drafting issue a bit of a ‘needle in a haystack’ exercise.
‘Aaron Gruber is one of the most-technically proficient M&A practitioners I have worked with or opposite. He responds to challenging scenarios in real-time based on a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the deal and prior deals with the same client. Associate work quality often rivals that of partners at other firms.‘
Johnson & Johnson
Stanley Black & Decker
- Represented Disney in nearly $100bn of deals, including its acquisition of Fox and related divestitures.
- Represented Occidental in its $57bn acquisition of Anadarko, and the subsequent $8.8bn sale of Anadarko’s African assets to Total, the $10bn investment by Berkshire Hathaway and its defense against Carl Icahn.
- Represented Barrick in its joint venture with Newmont and in its $18.3bn merger with Randgold.
- Represented Novartis in its $29.8bn spin-off of Alcon and in its $2.1bn acquisition of Endocyte.
- Representing the transaction committee of the board of Viacom in connection with Viacom’s pending $30bn merger with CBS.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP handles headline transactions across a range of industry sectors, including healthcare, media, and pharmaceuticals, with the New York-based team recording several high-value international deals over the past year. Healthcare and pharmaceuticals are particular areas of strength for the firm, and indeed it has advised on several major acquisitions in those sectors in the past year. In addition, the team works closely with the firm's tax, regulatory, and executive compensation practices to provide a truly full-service offering in complex transactions. The team is headed by George Bason, William Aaronson, and Louis Goldberg, each of whom lead major transactions on behalf of high-profile clients. Aaronson advised Comcast on its combined $65bn acquisition of Fox assets divested as part of its acquisition by Disney, a major transaction in the field of media, while Bason led Shire's $62bn cross-border acquisition by Japanese giant Takeda.
George Bason; William Aaronson; Louis Goldberg
Other key lawyers:
Oliver Smith; John Bick; William Chudd
- Advised Aetna, one of the nation’s leading diversified healthcare benefits companies, on its $77bn acquisition by CVS Health.
- Advised Comcast on its successful $40bn contested acquisition of Sky.
- Advised Shire on its $62bn acquisition by Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda.
- Advising Pfizer on the $24.6bn combination of its off-patent branded and generic established medicines business Upjohn with Mylan.
- Advised Brookfield Business Partners on its $13.2bn acquisition of Johnson Controls’ Power Solutions business.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP has a broad transactional practice, acting as lead counsel in public M&A, large-scale and cross-border joint ventures, and contested transactions. Clients of note include Bristol Myers-Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, and General Motors. Bristol Myers-Squibb in particular provided a key mandate for the practice in the form of its $90bn acquisition of Celgene, a significant transaction within the pharmaceuticals sector led by established 'outstanding practitioners' Daniel Wolf, David Fox, and Jonathan Davis. The team is also active in transactions in the logistics, healthcare, shipping, and manufacturing industries. The firm's US-wide platform is aided further by strong global connectivity with offices in Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia, enabling it to access 'great expertise' from a variety of sources in complex cross-border transactions. The 'exceptional' Eric Schiele is also highly recommended by clients, while Houston-based David Castro and Christopher Heasley are noted for their work in energy sector transactions. All lawyers are in New York unless otherwise stated.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team provides great expertise, depth and breadth.‘
‘Eric Schiele and Megan Spelman are exceptional deal and corporate lawyers. They are practical, very sharp, and a pleasure to work with. Melissa Hutson is very knowledgeable and has great experience.‘
‘K&E’s practice has all the qualities of a larger more established firm, with the better service ethic and attention to detail that you tend to find in the smaller, more mid sized firms, with open selection of specialists that know their materials and deliver balanced advice.‘
‘We have worked with Jonathan Davis, Eric Schiele and David Fox for several years now and see them each as outstanding M&A practitioners and together as an outstanding M&A team, delivering well stated advice with a positive commercial angle and excellent negotiation skills.‘
Bristol Myers Squibb
- Advised Bristol-Myers Squibb Company on its agreement to acquire Celgene Corporation in a cash and stock transaction with an enterprise value of approximately $90bn.
- Advised AbbVie on its agreement to acquire Allergan in a cash and stock transaction with an equity value of approximately $63bn.
- Advised Danaher Corporation on its definitive agreement with General Electric to acquire the biopharma division of GE Life Sciences for $21.4bn.
- Advised WellCare Health Plans on its acquisition by Centene Corporation for $17.3bn.
- Advised GlaxoSmithKline on its agreement with Pfizer to combine their consumer health businesses into a new joint venture with combined sales of approximately $12.7bn.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP has maintained a prominent position in the market, advising a variety of blue-chip clients and logging an impressive number of high-value deals in 2019. Clients include Kraft Heinz, Ericcson, and Chevron, which are indicative of the team's ability to act in mandates across multiple industry sectors on behalf of high-profile and demanding clients. Further examples of the team's strengths include its work for Chevron on a proposed $50bn acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum--which saw a key role for deputy corporate chair Steven Williams--and its work for Harris Corporation's board in its $37bn merger with L3 Technologies. Global head of M&A Scott Barshay is widely recognized as a leader in the market; he regularly advises a diverse group of clients on high-stakes deals. The department is led from New York by Matthew Abbott, Angelo Bonvino, and Jeffrey Marell. Also recommended are Ariel Deckelbaum and Robert Schumer, who are acting on behalf of CBS in its $40bn merger with Viacom, creating ViacomCBS. Counsel Kyle Seifried also has a growing reputation in the M&A space. Clients also benefit from the firm's strength in activist defense matters.
Matthew Abbott; Scott Barshay; Angelo Bonvino; Jeffrey Marell
Apollo Global Management
The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of CBS Corp.
- Advising Aptiv on its $4bn joint venture with Hyundai Motor Group.
- Advising the Independent Directors of Avon Products on its $3.7bn acquisition by Natura & Co.
- Advising the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of CBS Corp. on its merger with Viacom to form ViacomCBS, a combined company with an enterprise value of more than $40bn.
- Advised Chevron on its proposed $50bn acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is active in strategic public and private M&A, and also has standout strength in private equity to complement the wider corporate offering. The team has an established reputation in complex cross-border transactions, thanks to the expertise of the New York office in combination with the firm's presence across key international commercial centers. A prime example of the team's global reach is its involvement in Refinitiv's sale to London Stock Exchange for an estimated $27bn, a transaction with New York and London elements. The team is engaged in numerous other high-value deals, alongside a steady flow of smaller deals on behalf of clients in key regulated industries such as finance, banking, aerospace, and defense. Alan Klein and Mario Ponce jointly head the practice, with Lee Meyerson being another name to note. The team was also further strengthened by three internal promotions: Naveed Anwar, Juan Naveira, and Jakob Rendtorff were promoted to partner in January 2019.
Alan Klein; Mario Ponce
Other key lawyers:
Best Buy Co.
Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
Fifth Third Bancorp
First Data Corporation
Gardner Denver Holdings
Genesee & Wyoming
Johnson Controls International
The Mosaic Company
Owens & Minor
People’s United Bank
Sirius XM Radio
Walgreens Boots Alliance
Vivint Smart Home
- Represented First Data Corporation in its $22bn merger with Fiserv.
- Represented L3 Technologies in its $33.5bn business combination with Harris Corporation.
- Represented Refinitiv in its definitive agreement to be acquired by London Stock Exchange Group in an all share transaction for a total enterprise value of approximately $27bn.
- Represented Johnson Controls in connection with the sale of its Power Solutions business to Brookfield Business Partners and its institutional partners including Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in a cash transaction valued at $13.2bn.
- Represented Cypress Semiconductor Corporation in connection with its proposed merger with Infineon Technologies, valued at an estimated $10.1bn.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is a significant player in large-cap M&A, where it acts for an impressive roster of blue-chip clients. The firm's global platform, including offices across the US, enables it to act on complex, often multi-jurisdictional mandates in a range of industries, including financial services, technology, software, and healthcare. Major clients include Pfizer, Gilead, and WeWork, a show of the firm's diverse sector strengths. The practice group was also involved in a headline transaction in the fintech sector, having acted for Worldpay in its $43bn merger with Fidelity National Information Services. The firm has a decentralized model, with M&A experts spread across the firm's offices in key commercial centers. Names to note in New York include Stephen Arcano, Peter Atkins, and Howard Ellin. West Coast contacts include Kenton King in Palo Alto.
- Advising Worldpay on its $43bn merger with Fidelity National Information Services.
- Advised Red Hat on its acquisition by IBM on an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $34bn.
- Advising Dassault Systèmes on its acquisition of Medidata Solutions in an all-cash transaction representing an enterprise value of $5.8bn.
- Represented Esterline Technologies Corporation in its $4bn acquisition by TransDigm Group.
- Representing Centene Corporation in its $17.3bn merger with WellCare Health Plans and related divestitures of WellCare Health Plans’s Missouri and Nebraska Medicaid plans to Anthem.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP represents a wide variety of clients, from major multinationals to smaller domestic companies across a range of industry sectors, including healthcare, construction, technology, and media. Names to note include Rodgin Cohen, Joseph Frumkin, and Francis Aquila in New York, and Alison Ressler in Los Angeles.
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz has a strong reputation in big-ticket transactions at the top of the market. Many of the firm's partners are highly-regarded nationally and internationally, with Martin Lipton, Adam Emmerich, Edward Herlihy, Daniel Neff, Steven Rosenblum and David Katz, all rated for their work and thought leadership in the field of M&A. The firm has a one-office model based out of New York.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has maintained a strong transactional record, with a focus on international deals on behalf of major corporates. The firm's full-service offering enables it to secure mandates from blue-chips and other large industry players, with the media and tech sectors being particular areas of activity. David Leinwand and Neil Whoriskey jointly lead the practice, which has a deep bench of lawyers active in the firm's biggest transactions. Paul Shim is a highly respected name in private and public M&A, and recently led on Naver's $30bn cross-border joint venture with Softbank, combining LineCorp with Yahoo! Japan. Christopher Austin represented National Amusements in the high-profile merger of CBS and Viacom for an estimated $30.5bn, a significant deal in the US media market. Aaron Meyers and Kimberly Spoerri are up-and-coming names to note; Meyers advised Google on its acquisition of Fitbit, while Spoerri advised Versace on its sale to Michael Kors. Kyle Harris made partner in January 2020 in an internal promotion. Paul Tiger and Ethan Klingsberg left the firm for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. All lawyers mentioned are in New York.
David Leinwand; Neil Whoriskey
‘Jim Langston is a very good M&A expert. Very good lawyer, knows the industry practices, perfect judgement, reactive and nice to work with.‘
- Representing National Amusements in the $30.5bn merger of CBS and Viacom.
- Representing Naver in a $30bn JV with SoftBank combining Line Corp. with Yahoo! Japan
- Advised JUUL on a $12.8 billion investment by Altria Group for 35% ownership of JUUL.
- Represented ESL Investments in its acquisition of assets of Sears Holdings Corp.
- Advising Tech Data on its $5.4bn sale to Apollo Global Management.
Michael Diz and Kevin Rinker jointly lead the 'awesome' M&A team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, which has seen growth in its share of large-cap transactions, handling mergers, strategic investments, and outright acquisitions on behalf of major corporates. Clients include Amazon, Verizon, and Johnson & Johnson, with American Express and GoDaddy noted as recent client wins. Jeffrey Rosen is recognized as a leading figure in the wider M&A market; he advised Interxion on its $8.4bn combination with Digital Reality, a deal in which Sue Meng also played a key role. Other key figures include Alexander Cochran and Jennifer Chu, who have closed notable deals in the insurance and healthcare industries respectively; and Uri Herzberg, who worked with Rinker on a complex continuity sale on behalf of Clayton Dubilier & Rice.
Michael Diz; Kevin Rinker
Other key lawyers:
‘Smart, experienced, awesome team.‘
‘William Regner is the best attorney of all I have used in 50 years of business.‘
‘A very solid and reactive team. Top quality advice with a business oriented mindset.‘
‘Paul Bird – amazing lawyer. Key in the negotiations of very complex deals. Very good understanding of our group constraints and business.’
Hospital Corporation of America (HCA)
Johnson & Johnson
Tribune Media Company
Toyota Motor Corporation
- Advising InterXion on its combination with Digital Realty, in a transaction valuing InterXion at $8.4bn.
- Advising Amazon as a strategic partner, alongside the Yankees, Sinclair Broadcast Group and other investors, to Yankee Global Enterprises in its acquisition of the YES Network from The Walt Disney Company at a total enterprise value of $3.47bn.
- Advised Tribune Media Company on its $7.2bn sale to Nexstar Media Group.
- Advised American Express on its acquisition of Resy.
- Advised Toyota Motor Corporation on its joint investment with DENSO Corporation and SoftBank Vision Fund in Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group (valuing Uber ATG at $7.25bn).
Latham & Watkins LLP is consistently active in large-cap transactions, where it acts for a variety of clients ranging from emerging companies to Fortune 500 corporates and multinationals. The firm has acted on high-profile transactions in key regulated industries, including financial services, media, and telecoms, where standout highlights include advising T-Mobile on its $146bn merger with Sprint. Additionally, the firm is well placed to handle complex multi-jurisdictional deals, owing to its nationwide and global platform, including key offices in New York, Chicago, Boston, Silicon Valley, and Houston. The 'exceptionally talented' practice is jointly led by Silicon Valley-based partner Luke Bergstrom and Houston-based Michael Dillard. Other names to note include Mark Gerstein in Chicago, who works on complex cross-border transactions, and Charles Ruck, who advises on transactions in several tech and innovation-related industries from both New York and Orange County. Large-cap and PE specialist Justin Hamill joined the team from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in early 2019, boosting the firm's capabilities and adding major corporates such as Virgin Galactic to the client roster.
Luke Bergstrom; Michael Dillard
‘The partners are super intelligent and love what they do. They’re very responsive.‘
‘Justin Hamill – Super smart, able to structure super difficult deals.‘
‘Patrick Mitchell – Knows the market really well, very patient and responsive.‘
‘The team consists of exceptionally talented lawyers that are very responsive.’
‘The lawyers I have worked with are very smart, incredibly hard-working and excellent lawyers. Chad Rolston stands out as a true go to attorney for any major M&A transaction.‘
‘The team is knowledgeable, responsive, personable and gets the job done. Advice is pragmatic and business and outcome focussed. They are also a real pleasure to work with, even in extremely stressful situations.‘
‘Tony Richmond is incredibly responsive, very experienced and his advice very pragmatic, and risk-based. His knowledge of accounting is also incredibly helpful. His familiarity with securities law, as well as M&A, make him a tremendous asset to any M&A deal. Mark Bekheit is also very responsive, hard-working and highly effective on the M&A side. He is also unflappable and a real pleasure to work with. James Metz and Maj Vasegi’s work on executive compensation and benefits matters is crucial is all deals, and they are also incredibly responsive and hard-working.‘
Energy Transfer Partners
Independent Directors of the Board of First Data Corporation
Special Committee of Viacom’s Board of Director
El Dorado Resorts
Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of MPLX
Sinclair Broadcast Group
Integrated Device Technology
Phillips Edison & Company
Hess Midstream Partners
Alliance Data Systems
- Advised T-Mobile on its merger agreement with Sprint, a transaction totaling $146bn.
- Represented Energy Transfer Equity in its $63bn acquisition of Energy Transfer Partners.
- Represented the independent directors of NYSE-listed First Data Corporation in its $22bn public share for share acquisition by Fiserv.
- Advising MPLX on its $14bn acquisition of Andeavor Logistics.
- Represented the Sinclair Broadcast Group in its $10.6bn acquisition of a portfolio of 21 former Twentieth Century Fox regional sports networks from The Walt Disney Company.
Shearman & Sterling LLP is active in high-profile large-cap M&A, and has taken central roles in several impressive transactions in 2019. Practice heads George Casey and Scott Petepiece have both had strong years, advising on deals in several industries, including defense, media, and chemicals. Casey was a lead partner on the split of Dow from DowDuPont, a transaction totaling $130bn, and Petepiece represented CPPIB in the acquisition of Pattern Energy for $6.1bn. Another major transaction for the firm was the $93bn merger of Raytheon with United Technologies, forming the second-largest defense company globally; Clare O’Brien acted as lead counsel to Raytheon in this matter. The team utilizes the firm's full-service capabilities in its transactional work, handling the full range of tax, antitrust, and other regulatory aspects of deals. The full-service offering and global platform come to the fore in complex cross-border mandates in particular, an example of which is the Dow transaction, which involved 35 jurisdictions worldwide.
George Casey; Scott Petepiece
Other key lawyers:
‘Outstanding collaboration within Shearman and with client, outstanding advice, very knowledgeable, great ability to manage internal teams despite being an outsider, very hard-working, great communication. The best team of lawyers in the US I’ve ever worked with- very nice, polite and humble.‘
The Dow Chemical Company
CVS Health Corp
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Advanced Disposal Services
General Electric Company
Exxon Mobil Corporation
- Advised Dow Chemical on the $130bn business restructuring and separation of DowDuPont into three public companies, and the related $50bn spin-off of Dow.
- Advised Raytheon on its $93bn combination with United Technologies in a merger of equals.
- Advised Viacom on its $28bn merger with CBS Corporation.
- Represented CPPIB in the acquisition of Pattern Energy in an all-cash transaction for $26.75 per share, an enterprise value of approximately $6.1bn.
- Represented Advanced Disposal Services in its $4.95bn cash acquisition by Waste Management from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has a 'high-performing' and geographically diverse team active in a range of industries, including utilities, chemicals, life sciences, technology, entertainment, and financial services. The versatility of the practice is owed to its established offices in New York, Silicon Valley, and Texas, which work closely together, as well as with the firm's activist defense, technology, and financing practices, handling all aspects of major transactions. Key clients include household names such as General Electric, Dow, and the MLB Players Association. Michael Aiello and Michael Lubowitz jointly lead the practice, and Jackie Cohen has been involved in crucial transactions for clients such as Total and the Campbell Soup Company. All partners mentioned are in the New York office.
Michael Aiello; Michael Lubowitz
Other key lawyers:
‘The Weil M&A team is a high performing, focused and dedicated team. Key strengths include the structure they utilize which includes team members at all levels who regularly work together and know each other very well. They are able to move quickly and seamlessly.‘
‘Michael Aiello – simply put – one of the best outside counsel I have ever watched present and interact with boards of directors. He uses plain English and distils complex considerations into straightforward explanations. Sachen Kohli- extremely good technical skills and very calm, collected, and effective demeanor.‘
Campbell Soup Company
Eli Lilly and Company
General Electric Company
Major League Baseball Players Association
MGM Resorts International
Mubadala Investment Company
The Kroger Company
TPG / TPG Pace Holdings
Management of U.S. Renal Care
Walgreens Boots Alliance
Westinghouse Electric Company
Willis Towers Watson
- Advised Dow on its approximately $40bn spin-off from DowDuPont.
- Advised SoftBank Group on its agreement to provide $6.5bn in debt and equity financing to WeWork and to make a $3bn tender offer to holders of WeWork shares.
- Advising Synchrony Bank on its approximately $9bn sale of the credit card portfolio of Walmart.
- Advising Total on its pending $8.8bn acquisition of all the oil and natural gas assets, liabilities, businesses and operations of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in each of Algeria, Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa.
- Advised Eli Lilly and Company on its approximately $8bn acquisition of Loxo Oncology.
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP routinely handles standard acquisitions, strategic investments, joint ventures and restructuring matters for major corporates across several industry areas, notably media, healthcare, industrials, and financial institutions. Robert Schwenkel, Steven Epstein, and Phillip Richter jointly lead the practice from the New York office, with Matthew Soran being another key figure in the team. The firm's presence in London is also an advantage in cross-border mandates, and indeed the team has leveraged its global network in recent multi-jurisdictional deals for Leido and the Mayo Clinic. Other standout transactions include representing Sinclair in its $10.6bn acquisition of former Fox assets from Disney, and acting for Jacobs Engineering Group in the sale of its energy and chemicals arm to WorleyParsons. The firm has recently promoted three partners, including hotly tipped transactional specialist Amber Banks, Shant Manoukian, and Erica Jaffe, further bolstering the group's stable of corporate and M&A-focused partners.
Robert Schwenkel; Steven Epstein; Philip Richter
Other key lawyers:
Sinclair Broadcast Corporation
Jacobs Engineering Group
Spirit MTA REIT
Global Brass and Copper Holdings
Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Capital Product Partners
NorthStar Realty Europe
GreenOak Real Estate Advisors
Hitachi and Hitachi Rail Italy Investments
Stella Point Capital
Yellow Wood Partner
- Represented Sinclair Broadcast Group in its definitive agreement to acquire the equity interests in 21 regional sports networks (RSNs) and Fox College Sports for $10.6bn, which were acquired by The Walt Disney Company in its acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox.
- Represented Aleris Corporation, a US-based aluminum producer, in its $2.6bn acquisition by Novelis.
- Represented Spirit MTA REIT and its independent directors in the sale of the assets in the company’s Master Trust 2014 and three assets presently owned by Spirit Realty Capital to Hospitality Properties Trust for $2.4bn.
- Represented Catalent in its acquisition of Paragon Bioservices for $1.2bn.
- Advised Leidos on the sale of its commercial cybersecurity business to Capgemini America.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has a high-profile corporate client list that produces a steady flow of large-cap transactions, with clients in key industries such as real estate and hospitality, media, food and beverages, and technology. The practice benefits from an expansive national and global platform, with key offices across the US, notably in New York, Washington DC, Silicon Valley, and a growing presence in Houston, which has expanded the service offering within the energy sector. The department is headed by Barbara Becker in New York, Jeffrey Chapman in Houston, and Stephen Glover in DC. Also recommended are California-based partner Ari Lanin, who is strong in technology transactions, and New York-based Saee Muzumdar, who worked with Becker on VMWare's $21.7bn acquisition of shares in Dell. The team also took two partners from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP: the highly rated Ed Batts joined the Palo Alto office, while Charles Walker joined in Houston.
Barbara Becker; Jeffrey Chapman; Stephen Glover
The Williams Company
Special Committee of the Board of Directors of VMWare
Redbird Capital Partners
- Represented the special committee of VMware Board of Directors in its $2.7bn acquisition of PivotalSoftware.
- Advised Ensco on its $2.4bn merger with Rowan.
- Advised The William Companies on a $3.8bn joint venture with the CPPIB.
- Represented the Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of Antero Midstream Partners GP in a simplification transaction to form Antero Midstream Corporation, valued at approximately $7bn.
- Advised PepsiCo on the $3.2bn acquisition of SodaStream.
Jointly led by James Dougherty and Randi Lesnick from the New York office, Jones Day focuses on complex, often cross-border M&A, supported by an expansive spread of offices across the United States and the Americas. The firm handles a number of significant deals in the energy sector, notably Marathon Petroleum's combination of two MLPs, and ANDX and ENGIE's $8.6bn acquisition of Transportadora Associada de Gás from Brazilian Petrobras. The latter transaction was co-led by Wade Angus, an energy specialist who divides his time between São Paulo and New York. The firm also sees work in the software, rail, and gaming industries. Other names to note are Benjamin Stulberg, a prolific player in public and cross-border M&A, and Miami-based partners Lorne Cantor and Evan Kanter, who have been active in the gaming industry since their arrival from Greenberg Traurig LLP in February 2019. The duo recently advised Stars Corporation on the $6bn merger with Flutter Entertainment. Also of note, Darcy White joined the team from Paul Hastings LLP in mid-2019.
James Dougherty; Randi Lesnick
Other key lawyers:
Procter & Gamble (P&G)
Western Digital Corp
- Represented Marathon Petroleum Corporation in the combination of its two master limited partnerships, MPLX and Andeavor Logistics, representing an equity value of approximately $9bn and an enterprise value of $14bn.
- Advised Wabtec Corporation on a Reverse Morris Trust merger with GE Transportation, valued at $11.1bn.
- Advised ENGIE on the $8.6bn acquisition of 90% of Transportadora Associada de Gás from Brazilian Petrobras.
- Advised SAP on its $8bn acquisition of Qualtrics International.
- Advised USG Corporation on the $7bn acquisition by Gebr. Knauf of all outstanding shares in USG.
Ropes & Gray LLP has had an active year in strategic M&A, concentrating on complex, often multi-jurisdictional transactions, and utilizing the firm's global platform. The practice is active in a number of key regulated industries, generating work in the healthcare, life sciences, aerospace and defense, technology, and media sectors. The 'highly skilled' team is headed up by Jane Goldstein in Boston and Paul Scrivano, who divides his time between California and New York. Goldstein was involved in the headline $17.3bn merger of Caesars and Eldorado Resorts, where she acted for PJT Partners as financial advisor to Caesars. Also of note, a cross-US team advised Veeam on its $5bn acquisition of Insight, a complex transaction in the growing cloud data sector and a strong demonstration of the firm's focus on tech and innovation transactions. The firm's expansion strategy has seen ten internal promotions and two lateral hires. Carolyn Vardi and Scott Abramowitz joined the New York office from White & Case LLP and Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, respectively.
Jane Goldstein; Paul Scrivano
Other key lawyers:
‘R&G’s attention to the client and their needs is unsurpassed.‘
‘Paul Scrivano and team are highly skilled in the art and legalities of deal making. They approach the deal with the client’s needs and desires in mind but work hard to find solutions to issues. David Blittner served in the role as corporate legal advisor. Our confidence in him and his advice is extremely high.‘
Chloe Ox Holdings
Convey Health Parent
Evolution Media Management
Milacron Holdings Corp
Veeam Software Holding
Vince Holding Corp
Wright Medical Technology
- Represented PJT Partners in its role as financial advisor to Caesars Entertainment Corp. in the $17bn merger between Caesars and Eldorado Resorts.
- Represented a major investment bank in its role as financial advisor to CommScope in CommScope’s $7.4bn acquisition of ARRIS International.
- Representing Wright Medical Group in its pending $5.4bn sale to Stryker Corporation.
- Represented Tesaro in its $5.1bn sale to GlaxoSmithKline.
- Represented Milacron Holdings Corp. in its $2bn acquisition by Hillenbrand.
White & Case LLP maintains a steady record in large-cap M&A, acting in a wide range of transactions on behalf of clients in the energy, mining, telecoms, healthcare, retail, and media industries. The 'practical and to-the-point' practice is plugged into, and is in fact central to, the firm's global platform. Moreover, the firm has an international reputation in antitrust, which allows it to handle complex multi-jurisdictional M&A entirely from within its office network. Global corporate head John Reiss has continued to be active in the firm's leading transactions, while Americas M&A head Chang-Do Gong works closely with investment funds on key strategic acquisitions. Oliver Brahmst focuses on private equity, but also has an active companies practice. The firm's flagship deal in 2019 was its advice to Saudi Aramco on its $69.1bn acquisition of a 70% stake in Saudi Basic Industries Company; Gregory Pryor and 'brilliant young partner' Francis Lupinacci played key roles in the transaction. Also of note, the firm is actively growing, recording eight lateral hires in the New York, Houston, and Silicon Valley offices. All named partners are in New York unless otherwise stated.
John Reiss; Chang-Do Gong; Oliver Brahmst
‘Partners are very involved and approach issues not only from a legal perspective, but also from a business and strategic viewpoint. They have the right balance between advice and recommended courses of action.‘
‘Practical and to the point. Good listeners who understand what a client is trying to accomplish.‘
‘W&C did a tremendous job assisting us on complex JVs . Very proactive and provide top quality advice in M&A.‘
‘John Reiss and Frank Lupinacci form a very solid team with a perfect level of involvment. Frank took the lead during our complex negotiation with the perfect tone and in line with our mindset and way to do M&A at a group level. Frank is a brilliant young partner. He also perfectly managed the whole W&C team on that transaction to deliver our expectations in terms of quality and timing.‘
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners / Brookfield Asset Management
Antin Infrastructure Partners
Oncor Electric Delivery Company
CVC Capital Partners
I Squared Capital
- Representing Saudi Aramco in its $69.1bn acquisition of a 70% stake in Saudi Basic Industries Company.
- Represented Newmont Mining Corporation in its $10bn all-stock acquisition of Goldcorp.
- Represented a consortium composed of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, its institutional partners, and GIC on the $8.4bn acquisition of Genesee & Wyoming.
- Advising IFM Investors on the acquisition of Buckeye Partners in an all-cash transaction valued at $10.3bn enterprise value and a $6.5bn equity value.
- Represented LifePoint Health in its $5.6bn merger with RCCH HealthCare.
Dechert LLP utilizes two key elements of its firm-wide offering to maintain a consistent flow of high-value M&A. The firm's global platform allows it to act on complex cross-border mandates, as well as seek transactional and regulatory expertise from across its office network, while its close relationship with private equity funds has produced fruitful relationships with both target companies and the funds themselves. Aside from private companies and funds, the healthcare and life sciences industries are key sources of work. The prolific Mark Thierfelder heads up the practice from New York, while Markus Bolsinger is recognized for his international capabilities (practicing in both New York and Germany) and his record in attracting new clients to the firm. The 'excellent' and 'knowledgeable' Geraldine Sinatra in Philadelphia is also highly rated by clients.
‘We work with Gerrie Sinatra and Greg Schernecke. They are both extremely knowledgeable about our industry, which is critical in terms of deal structure and due diligence, and they are excellent negotiators who are always up to speed on what the market is doing. They are extremely responsive and, through the resources of the firm, are able to provide a broad array of specific subject matter expertise. Gerrie is an excellent partner who gets involved personally when the situation warrants. Greg is extremely dedicated, hard working, knowledgeable and practical.‘
‘Jonathan Kim is a practical and business-oriented solutions provider with exceptional responsiveness, thoughtfulness and thoroughness.‘
American Express Global Business Travel
Court Square Capital Partners
Select Medical Corporation
- Advised OppenheimerFunds on its $5.7bn acquisition by Invesco from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.
- Represented HFF in its sale to Jones Lang LaSalle in a cash and stock transaction with an equity value of approximately $2bn.
- Represented Golub Capital BDC, Golub Capital Investment Corporation and GC Advisors in connection with the $1.7bn merger of GCIC and GBDC.
- Advised Centric Brands on its carve-out acquisition of a significant part of the North American licensing business of Global Brands Group Holding.
- Represented US Ecology in its acquisition of NRC Group Holdings Corp in an all-stock merger transaction.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has made a major splash in the market with the high-profile arrival of new US head of corporate Ethan Klingsberg from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, a move tipped to have major ramifications for the wider M&A market. Klingsberg has retained high-profile clients since the move, bringing to the firm household names such as Google, Stanley Black & Decker, and Goldman Sachs. The firm also welcomed the highly rated Paul Tiger as part of the same lateral hire, alongside Jonathan Zhou, Andrew Basham, and Meredith Kotler, who bolster the firm's full-service corporate offering, covering securities transactions, regulatory issues, and M&A-related litigation. The move marks the next step in a promising a joined-up international practice that is expected to make a significant impact in 2020.
Hogan Lovells US LLP utilizes its geographic reach across major commercial centers and emerging markets to handle large, often cross-border transactions. The group has with a particular strength in complex regulated industry deals, notably life sciences, health care, and technology, alongside defense, aerospace, and automobiles. Work with REIT-related transactions in a strength for the practice group, a recent example of which was the DC office advising Industrial Property Trust on its $3.99bn cash merger with Prologis. The firm has also continued its work with pharmaceutical giant Novartis, having advised on its acquisition of IFM Tre, in deal involving a cross-border team led by Adam Golden and Michael Szlamkowicz in the firm's New York office. The practice is primarily led from Washington DC by David Bonser, Paul Manca, Joseph Gilligan, and global head of M&A William Curtin III. A standout deal for the Silicon Valley team, which features the well-respected duo of 'rock star' Keith Flaum and Richard Climan, was the $2.2bn acquisition of Japanese company Kokusai Electric by Applied Materials, a deal in which the firm represented the buying party.
David Bonser; Paul Manca; Joseph Gilligan; William Curtin
Other key lawyers:
‘Very skilled, professional and client friendly. To the point advice.‘
‘Hogan Lovells has an outstanding M&A team across the board, and they definitely are the preeminent tech-M&A law firm in the country. There is no better team for this type of work. They’re frequently on the biggest, most transformational deals in the market, and for good reason. They are a pleasure to work with, have decades of experience (so have seen every twist and turn along the way), and are fierce negotiators – that’s a combination I want in my corner on my most important transactions. They also have strong data privacy, employee benefits, and IP teams that work together closely with the M&A lawyers. You know they’re able to handle whatever may come up in the course of a deal.‘
‘Keith Flaum is by far the best M&A lawyer (and actually best lawyer) I’ve ever worked with. He understands the nuances of my business, and I can always count on him to provide excellent advice. He knows what is relevant, and equally important, what we don’t need to spend time on. If I have a bet-the-company deal in the works, Keith is my guy, hands down. He doesn’t just look at the legal aspects of the deal. He puts it in the context of how it ties to our business’ growth strategy and what it will mean in real terms for the company and its shareholders. In my opinion, Keith is the best in the market – he’s a total rock star. I have also worked with a slew of Hogan Lovells M&A associates, senior associates and other partners and all are great.‘
‘I have worked with the Hogan Lovells firm for a number of years, and I have worked with several of their offices across the US and beyond. I have worked with them on many issues – corporate/SEC/public company, large divestiture, establishment of entire European business in many different companies, FDA/regulatory issues, commercial/contracts. They have extensive breadth of expertise and attention to client needs. They are particularly valuable because they have a great track record of hiring subject matter experts from various government entities who have an in-depth knowledge of the best way to approach those agencies to get the desired result for the client.‘
‘This group staffed our project leanly for efficiency and cost-effectiveness and yet they were always available and were able to easily bring in any additional experts. They were a true partner in closing our deal for us and had a keen ability to both provide in-depth and effective guidance while not being afraid to voice their opinion even if contrary to what we wanted as the outcome. This group was highly organized and efficient and a strong advocate for us, as compared to a similarly large firm that we worked with in the past.‘
‘Stacey McAvoy and Lee Berner (and their associates Emily Petrila, Michael Kaplan and Leslie Graham) were exceptional in getting a very difficult and complicated multi-part deal closed for us. Given that we were dealing with individuals in multiple time zones and in-person negotiations, they were able to spend a week with us, day and night, in ensuring that we were well-represented and that all of our issues were resolved. They were notably calm and collected as compared to counsel on the other side of the table.‘
Ford Motor Company
Laboratory Corporation of Americas Holdings
General Electric Company
The Anschutz Corporation
- Advised Novartis on its acquisition of IFM Tre.
- Advised Park Hotels & Resorts on its $2.7bn strategic acquisition of Chesapeake Lodging Trust.
- Advised Applied Materials on its $2.2bn acquisition of Kokusai Electric.
- Advised Prologis on the $1.1bn sale of a high-quality portfolio of buildings and land in Europe and the United States to Mapletree.
- Advised Ford on a $2.6bn investment by Volkswagen into Ford’s autonomous vehicle platform company Argo AI.
John Franchini heads up the corporate practice at Milbank, which is engaged in an aggressive growth strategy, capitalizing on its established 'standout' position in the M&A market across the Americas. The firm has made a series of internal promotions, including that of Francisco Nuñez, who made partner in late 2019. Further, Iliana Ongun joined the firm from Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and is hotly tipped to play a major role in the practice group's future. In addition to new talent, the firm has also attracted new clients, including US Steel, which the team advised on its $2.33bn investment into Big River Steel. The firm has also enjoyed a run of activity thanks to its focus on infrastructure, with financial sponsors in a ready position to provide capital for a consistent flow of deals. Dean Sattler and Scott Golenbock have also had standout years. All lawyers are in the New York office unless otherwise stated.
‘Significant experience in M&A transactions across the whole team including speciality areas such as employment. Depth of expertise and quality of service at all levels from associates to partners is very high.‘
‘John Franchini does an excellent job. He provides solutions-focused advice and added value during negotiations.‘
‘Milbank stands out in Latin America for their volume of activity, having Latin American partners and associates allow them to tune well with local idiosyncrasies which facilitates the deal flow significantly.‘
‘Milbank’s partners I have worked with (John Franchini, Jaime Ramirez and Carlos Albarracin) have a very good knowledge and understanding of the client, which allows them to have a practical approach focused on the client’s objectives.‘
Ad Hoc committee of lenders to FullBeauty Brands Holdings Corp.
Apollo Aviation Group
Apollo Global Management
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)
El Dorado Resorts
GIC Special Investment
Glenmede Trust Company
Goshawk Aviation Group
Hana Alternative Asset Management
International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI)
JPM Asset Management
Mill Rock Capital Partners
Morgan Stanley Infra Partners
Nassau Reinsurance Group
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (OTPP)
Penn National Gaming
QIC Private Capital
Sociedad Austral de Electricidad (SAESA)
Stellex Capital Management
Tangent Capital Partners
The Carlyle Group
- Represented US Steel in its $2.33bn strategic investment in Big River Steel.
- Representing Eldorado Resorts in its $17.3bn merger with Caesars Entertainment Corporation.
- Advised leading commercial aircraft lessor Goshawk Aviation on its approximately $2.8bn acquisition of SKY Aviation Leasing International.
- Represented Canadian Solar in the sale of its Mexican solar energy portfolio.
- Represented First Infrastructure in its acquisition of a premier Delaware natural gas pipeline through its acquisition of WhiteWater Midstream.
Morrison & Foerster LLP has an established strength in technology M&A, maintained over the past year with several notable transactions. The team's sector strengths in software, telecoms, and real estate are evidenced by a sample of its key clients, which include Softbank, Sprint, and WeWork. The practice group is jointly led by Spencer Klein in New York and Eric McCrath in San Francisco, with the firm's West Coast group driving the bulk of its work for tech and innovation clients. San Francisco-based Brandon Parris and Washington DC-based David Slotkin advised Sprint and Softbank on the $59bn merger of the former with T-Mobile, which marked a significant shift within the telecoms market.
Spencer Klein; Eric McCrath
Axalta Coating Systems
GLP (formerly Global Logistics Properties)
- Advised Sprint and Softbank on the $59bn merger between Sprint and T-Mobile.
- Advised Sprint on the $5bn divestiture of assets ahead of its merger with T-Mobile.
- Advised VMware (a Dell subisdiary) and Dell on a $21.7bn exchange transaction between the two.
- Advised VMware on the $2.1bn acquisition of Carbon Black.
- Represented Renesas Electronics Corporation in its $6.7bn acquisition of Integrated Device Technology.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is active in strategic M&A across a wide variety of industries, with the firm's global platform and 'seamless' working relationships between established sector-specific practices being a considerable benefit to its M&A practice. The team is particularly strong in the areas of real estate, communications and asset management, as well as in hostile takeovers and transactions arising out of restructuring matters. Clients include investment funds, banks, corporate boards, and financial advisors. The firm's recent headline mandate was its advice to FIS in the client's $42bn merger with Worldpay. The practice is headed up by David Boston and Steven Seidman. Other names to note include Gregory Astrachan, who is recommended for his work with corporates and banking clients, and Adam Turteltaub, who focuses on cross-border deals and strategic investments. Five partners were promoted internally in 2019: Laura Acker, Ziyad Aziz, Elizabeth Bannigan, Howard Block, and Jared Fertman all made partner. Further, Claire James joined the team from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
David Boston; Steven Seidman
Other key lawyers:
‘The team provides seamless coverage from all areas of expertise, leveraging global partners and relationships as well when necessary. Their technical knowledge and understanding of market norms is top-level. I also find them more “current” in their style–few screamers, but still able to take firm positions without resorting to bullying behavior.‘
‘Bob Rachofsky (the lead partner on our account) does a tremendous job staying on point, leveraging his talent and experience, and reflecting our own culture of firmness without being rude. He behaves like a member of our team rather than just an advisor. He is equally comfortable in negotiations, drafting sessions, board discussions, etc.‘
AmTrust Financial Services special committee
Perella Weinberg, as financial advisor to AIG
Brookfield Business Partners
Protective Live Corporation
GoldenTree Asset Management
Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC)
Zurich Insurance Group
Choice Hotels International
Aberdeen Asset Management
Dyal Capital Partners
TriTech Software Systems
Deutsche Bank Asset Management
- Advised FIS on its $42bn agreement to merge with Worldpay.
- Represented Centerview Partners and PJT Partners as financial advisors to Mylan in connection with the announced agreement to combine Mylan with Upjohn.
- Represented Colony Capital in its $5.9bn agreement to sell Colony Industrial.
- Advised Centerview Partners, as financial advisor to Tesaro, on GSK’s acquisition of Tesaro for approximately $5.1bn.
- Advising RenaissanceRe Holdings on its $1.5bn agreement to acquire Tokio Millennium.
Baker Botts L.L.P. continues to expand its reach beyond its traditional Texas base, with notable hires in its New York and Silicon Valley offices. Drew Chapman and Robin Spigel joined the New York office from King & Spalding LLP and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, respectively, while Mike Torosian joined in San Francisco office from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. Headed by Mike Bengston in New York, the practice has a core strength in oil and gas transactions, and is also active in media, utilities, and financial services-related transactions, demonstrating the expansion of the practice from its historical sector base, as well as as its geographic base. The practice group acts for a wide variety of clients, including major corporates, energy companies, and financial advisors.
‘Exceptional institutional knowledge; strong negotiation skills; attention to detail; smart and practical.‘
‘Very responsive proactive firm. Excellent teamwork. All have great judgment. Work to know clients and effectively communicate advice.‘
‘Great approach and personality. Know how to get points across in negotiation. Excellent judgment and advice.‘
Intrepid Financial Partners
Carrizo Oil & Gas
Chesapeake Energy Corporation
El Paso Electric Company
Equitrans Midstream Corporation
Liberty Expedia Holdings
Murphy Exploration & Production Company
Tallgrass Energy Holdings
Liberty Media Corporation
Ascent Capital Group
- Acted for Intrepid Partners as financial advisor to the Conflicts Committee of Hess Midstream Partners in its $6.2bn IDR simplification/Up-C conversion transaction.
- Advised on BHP Billiton on its $10.5bn sale of oil and gas interests in the Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Permian basins.
- Advised Moda Midstream on its $2.6bn acquisition of the Oxy Ingleside Energy Center Terminal and certain crude oil and LPG infrastructure from Occidental Petroleum.
- Advised Carrizo on its pending $3.2bn merger with Callon Petroleum Company.
- Advised EnLink Midstream on its $13bn acquisition of EnLink Midstream Partners.
Jointly led by Chicago-based partners William Kucera and Jodi Simala, the team at Mayer Brown is active in major strategic transactions and investments on behalf of financial institutions and corporates, such as Prologis and Nestlé. Indeed, New York corporate head David Carpenter has closed two transactions on behalf of long-standing client Nestlé in the past year. The firm has been especially active in the retail, insurance, energy, logistics, and chemicals industries, a broad sector spread owed in part to the firm's nationwide platform, including offices in key financial centres including New York, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. Alongside its transactional work, the firm's lawyers also maintain a profile in thought leadership with regard to M&A procedure and corporate governance.
William Kucera; Jodi Simala
‘A strong background in legal matters for business formation and variations to specific business models. Knowledge of energy related issues is exemplary.‘
‘Jeff Dobbs has been very attentive to our company and needs related to the formation and changes that occur through time. Associate Joe Magro is easy to speak with and has always been very timely in his efforts on behalf of the Company. Outside business formation, advice by Mike Lennon has proven to be of significant value.‘
Caesars Entertainment Corporation
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Capital One Financial Corporation
Adtalem Gobal Education (f/k/a DeVry Education Group)
The Dow Chemical Company
Duff & Phelps
Exxon Mobil Corporation
The Hartford Financial Services Group
Mitsui & Co.
Packaging Corporation of America
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation
TC Energy Corporation (formerly TransCanada Corporation)
Walton Street Capital
Wells Fargo & Company
The Wendy’s Company
- Represented Nestlé in its $7.15bn global alliance with Starbucks.
- Represented Prologis in the $3.99bn acquisition of Industrial Property Trust.
- Represented Nestlé in its $1.55bn sale of Gerber Life Insurance Company.
- Represented Houghton International in its $1.4bn acquisition by Quaker Chemical Corporation from Gulf Oil Corporation.
- Represented the special committee of the board of directors of Noble Midstream in the $1.6bn acquisition of midstream interests from Noble Energy.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP handles a wide variety of international transactions, and has expanded its focus into the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, furthering the reach of its M&A practice. The team has seen a consistent deal flow across all sectors of the market in both public and private transactions, with active corporate clients this year including Raytheon, Oracle, and Pearson. The 'business-minded' group is jointly headed by Richard Aldridge in Philadelphia, alongside Laurie Cerveny and Steven Browne in the Boston office. The firm's global reach is a key element of its offering, with most transactions involving significant cross-border elements or occurring in multiple jurisdictions. A recent example of this was the firm's representation of Liberty Property Trust in its $12.6bn sale to Prologis, a deal originating in Mexico; that transaction was handled by Aldridge and fellow Philadelphia partners Justin Chairman and Andrew Mariniello. Several lateral hires have extended the practice, particularly in the healthcare sector, with Aaron Suh arriving from Dechert LLP, David Schwartz from DLA Piper LLP (US), Russell Franklin from Paul Hastings LLP, Jeffrey Dinerstein from Jones Day, and Janice Davis, John Klauburg, Michael Espinoza, and Charles Vandenburgh all joining from Bracewell LLP. Doug Kingston and Lise Lipowsky made partner internally.
Richard Aldridge; Laurie Cerveny; Steven Brown
‘The team is business-minded and works to find solutions rather than road-blocks to getting deals accomplished.‘
‘Richard Aldridge is a seasoned practitioner who gives reasoned advice and is not scared to take a position.‘
Apollo Global Management
Tabula Rasa Healthcare
- Represented Liberty Property Trust in its $12.6bn sale to Prologis.
- Represented Apollo Global Management in its $1.1bn acquisition of Smart & Final Stores.
- Represented BP Products North America in its joint venture with ArcLight Capital Partners.
- Represented Aramark in the sale of its Healthcare Technologies business to TriMedx.
- Represented HollyFrontier in the $655m acquisition of Sonneborn US Holdings and Sonneborn Coӧperatief.
Proskauer Rose LLP is active in upper-middle market and large-cap transactions in several key industries. The practice is especially active in deals involving unique assets and clients in regulated sectors, notably gaming, media, sports, life sciences and hospitality. These focuses necessitate close co-operation with the firm's tax and structuring practices. One standout deal over the past year was the sale of the Carolina Panthers to David Tepper for $2.2bn, an example of the firm's unique asset approach. The practice group is led by Ronald Papa in New York. Lauren Boglivi has also had a standout year, advising on many of the firm's high-profile deals, including the sale of the .org domain by the Public Interest Registry.
Other key lawyers:
Lauren Boglivi; Daniel Ganitsky; Michael Ellis
Empire City Casino
Ascena Retail Group
Church & Dwight Co
Public Interest Registry
The Stars Group
- Represented the Carolina Panthers in the $2.28 billion sale of the Panthers to David Tepper.
- Represented Discovery in its $2bn collaboration with PGA Tour, investing into GolfTV.
- Represented Grifols in its $1.9bn strategic alliance with Shanghai RAAS Blood Products.
- Represented Morgan Stanley as financial advisor to HFF in its acquisition by Jones Lang LaSalle in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $2bn.
- Represented Morgan Stanley as financial advisor to Industrial Property Trust in its acquisition by an affiliate of Prologis in an all-cash transaction valued at $3.99bn.
Vinson & Elkins LLP has an established strength in the energy sector, where it plays key roles in many of the market's major transactions. The firm's strong presence in Texas is a particular benefit in this space. Other areas of strength include venture capital investments, strategic public M&A, and technology transactions, an area where it has a 'wealth of knowledge'. In line with the market, the team has been active in strategic balance-sheet transactions, most notably in the $2.27bn merger of Jagged Peak and Parsley, with both firms being taken public immediately prior to the transaction. Head of corporate Keith Fullenweider and young partner Lande Spottswood, act for a number of major investment funds, including Blackstone Infrastructure Partners and TPG. Matthew Strock and David Oelman co-head the M&A department, while co-managing partner James Fox plays a key role in the firm's expanding New York office. The practice group also benefits from the strength of the firm's activist defense team.
Keith Fullenweider; Matt Strock; David Oelman; James Fox
Other key lawyers:
‘This is a group that punches above its weight and regularly counsels clients on large, complex transactions across from the traditional New York firms.‘
‘Steve Gill and Lande Spottswood are as experienced in public M&A as any practitioner in the country and it shows.‘
‘The V&E M&A team brings with it a wealth of knowledge. The teams I have worked with focus specifically on technology deals and they know every possible contingency related to those deals. One deal I worked on recently involved an incredibly difficult opposing party and the team was absolutely unflappable.‘
‘Wes Watts knows the deal documents inside and out. I have never had a question about a document, no matter how detailed or arcane, that he could not answer immediately and usually with a reference to the right section of the document for me to review. Was Watts and Paul Tobias have done an amazing job shepherding me through difficult transactions and always kept their cool even in some of the most challenging conference rooms.‘
Blackstone Infrastructure Fund
Chisholm Oil & Gas
Covey Park Energy
Jagged Peak Energy
M5 Louisiana Holdings/Momentum Midstream
Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners
Natural Resource Partners
Oncor Electric Delivery Company
Oryx Midstream Services II
Targa Resources Corp.
The Founder of Drunk Elephant
The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Owens Realty Mortgage
TPG Capital Management
Vista Equity Partners
WildHorse Resource Development Corp
- Advised WildHorse Resource Development Corporation on its sale to Chesapeake Energy Corporation in a transaction valued at approximately $3.98bn.
- Advised Oncor Electric Delivery Company on its acquisition of InfraREIT for approximately $1.28bn.
- Advised Jagged Peak Energy on its merger with Parsley Energy, under which Parsley will acquire Jagged Peak for approximately $2.27bn.
- Advised the founder of Drunk Elephant and a consortium of majority equity holders on the sale of Drunk Elephant to Shiseido Company.
- Advised the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Owens Realty Mortgage on its merger with Ready Capital Corporation.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has seen an uptick in large-cap M&A mandates, thanks in part to a year of market growth in its core industry strengths. The firm has been engaged in significant and complex energy-sector transactions, with Diamondback's $9.2bn acquisition of Energen being a standout. Houston-based partner Christine LaFollette is a name to note for the firm's energy transactions, having advised SRC Energy on its $1.7bn merger with PDC, in addition to leading several other key transactions. Another area of growth for the firm has been its work with funds, taking advantage of a beneficial environment for strategic acquisitions and distressed M&A. Jeffrey Kochian is co-head of the firm's global corporate practice and is active in M&A.
Other key lawyers:
Christine LaFollette; Kerry Berchem; Gerald Brant
Angelo, Gordon & Co.
Brightwood Capital Management
Commercial Metals Company
Durational Capital Management
Eastman Kodak Company
Enterprise Products Partners
Holly Energy Partners
Intermediate Capital Group
Shell Midstream Partners
Southcross Energy Partners
Stone Energy Corporation
Tall Grass Energy GP
Valero Energy Partners GP
WildHorse Resource Development
- Advised Diamondback Energy on its $9.2bn acquisition of Energen Corporation.
- Represented CenterPoint Energy in its merger with Vectren Corporation as well as in connection with a $5bn 364-day bridge facility commitment.
- Represented NGP Energy Capital Management, the largest shareholder of WildHorse Resource Development Corporation, in WildHorse’s $3.98bn sale to Chesapeake Energy Corporation.
- Represented Baker Bros. Advisors as the largest shareholder in Genomic Health in the company’s announced $2.8bn sale to Exact Sciences.
- Represented SRC Energy in its announced $1.7bn definitive merger agreement with PDC Energy.
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP specializes in cross-border transactions, primarily acting on behalf of non-US corporates in deals with US counterparties, and also acting in major public acquisitions on behalf of multinationals. The firm acts for a huge variety of international clients, including Graphite India, AB Mauri, and Louis Roederer. Recent standout highlights include acting for Hitachi in its $1.43bn acquisition of JR Automation Technologies, a significant transaction serving as a clear example of the firm's focus, assisting an international client with acquiring a US-based company. A key name in the New York office is Eric Shube, who heads up the firm's US corporate practice.
Other key lawyers:
Stephen Besen; Paul Burns
Macquarie Investment Management
Associated British Foods
- Advised Hitachi on its $1.43bn acquisition of JR Automation Technologies.
- Advised Greif on its acquisition of Caraustar Industries from H.I.G. Capital for approximately $1.8bn.
- Advised Macquarie Investment Management on its acquisition of Foresters Financial’s mutual fund management business First Investors.
- Advised AB Mauri on the sale of their yeast manufacturing business, including its Hutchinson Minnesota yeast facility, to Lallemand.
- Advised Graphite India on its definitive agreement to acquire a 46% stake in US-based General Graphene Corporation.
Baker McKenzie LLP is focused on cross-border transactions, acting as lead counsel on a wide variety of deals for clients in a range of industries, including tech and defense. The firm's core strength lies in healthcare and pharma, with its role as lead counsel to Galapagos in its $5.1bn collaboration with Gilead a clear highlight; that matter was led by 'smart negotiator' Olivia Tyrell in Chicago. Other key names in Chicago include Craig Roeder, who advised construction company Gebr. Knauf on the $7bn domestic acquisition of USG Corporation, and Michael DeFranco, the firm's global head of M&A. Alan Zoccolillo is co-managing partner of the New York office, and North American head of corporate and securities. The team has been strengthened by several lateral hires: respected Wall Street lawyer Mark Mandel joined from Milbank, and Leif King joined from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP as head of corporate in California. Further, in Silicon Valley tech transaction specialist Lawrence Lee joined the firm from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.
‘The team organized itself very quickly and all relevant expertise was available throughout the negotiations and during the process thereafter. Very hands-on, pro-active and solution-oriented approach.‘
‘Olivia Tyrrell is a very smart negotiator and a very pleasant person to work with. Oren Livne has amazing drafting skills and thinks along and ahead. Creighton Macy and Alexandros Stratakis provide excellent assistance in antitrust matters.‘
Esterline Technologies Corporation
China Yangtze Power Co.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals International
LVMH Moet Hennesey-Louis Vuitton
Archer Daniels Midland
Radisson Hotel Group
- Lead counsel to Galapagos in its 10-year global research and development collaboration with Gilead Sciences, valued at $5.1bn.
- Advised Gebr. Knauf on the $7bn acquisition of USG Corporation and its divestment of Plaka Comex to St. Gobain.
- Advised Esterline Technologies Corporation on its $4bn sale to Transdigm Group.
- Advised China Yangtze Power Co. on a $3.5bn share purchase agreement with Sempra Energy for acquiring its 83.6% stake in Luz Del Sur.
- Advised Takeda Pharmaceuticals as international counsel on the sale of Xiidra to Novartis for $3.4bn.
Bracewell LLP is especially active in transactions around the South West, with its Texas offices providing a solid base for M&A and banking transactions in a few core industries. In line with the firm's strength in the energy sector, the team has developed particular expertise in acting for master limited partnerships. A key energy-sector highlight for the team was Western Gas Partners LP's acquisition of 98% of publicly held units in the limited partnership, a deal in which Troy Harder acted for the special committee to the board of Western Gas Partners. William Anderson and Charles Still lead the corporate and securities practice from the Houston office; both are focused on energy and banking-related transactions. Of recent note, Anderson led on the merger of Prosperity Bancshares with LegacyTexas, a major move in the Texas banking market estimated at roughly $2.1bn.
William Anderson; Charles Still
Other key lawyers:
‘The M&A team is commercially focused and takes on our projects are their own, assuming personal responsibility for our combined success.‘
‘Kirk Morgan and Jason Jean are stellar attorneys, and provide sage legal counsel and help us navigate sometimes troubled areas keenly.‘
Global Infrastructure Partners
Woodforest National Bank
Affiliates of existing preferred equity investors in CN Jackalope Holdings
Western Gas Partners
Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Enbridge Energy Management
Pioneer Natural Resources
Blue Ridge Mountain Resources
- Represented Prosperity Bancshares, the parent company of Prosperity Bank, in connection with its merger with LegacyTexas Financial Group.
- Represented Sinclair Telecable in an agreement to acquire the interest in a partnership that owns and operates six Austin radio stations and two FM translators from its partner, Emmis Communications Corporation.
- Counseled Global Infrastructure Partners Capital Solutions Fund on its preferred equity investment of up to $200m in Dos Rios Crude Intermediate, a subsidiary of Noble Midstream Partners.
- Represented Woodforest National Bank, in connection with the proposed sale of its asset-based and equipment finance lending businesses to Sterling National Bank.
- Represented the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Western Gas Partners in connection with the proposed acquisition by Western Gas Partner of all the publicly held common units of Western Gas Partners and substantially all the units owned by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in a unit-for-unit, tax-free exchange valued at around $4bn.
David Brinton heads up the M&A practice at Clifford Chance, which is active in a range of industries, particularly real estate, pharmaceuticals, and industrials, with notable clients including Pfizer, Hearst and Cristal. The firm's international reach allows it to work on complex cross-border and multi-jurisdictional transactions, a recent example of which is the acquisition of Aircastle by a consortium of Japanese companies; the firm acted for the Japanese acquirers in this deal. Key names in the practice include Benjamin Sibbett, who is very active in international deals in several key industries, and Sarah Jones, who works closely with the team's multinational clients, and took a leading role in deals on behalf of Pfizer and Cristal. All partners named are in New York.
‘We were delighted with the team at Clifford Chance. John Healy was masterful and very helpful in guiding us through the sale of our business. In addition to helping us through complicated and drawn-out negotiations with our ultimate buyer, he also helped manage our internal constituencies well. We were also impressed with Philip Wagman in tax. We have a decades long relationship with Roger Singer, who is tremendous. In addition, Christine Kim is a strong associate on their team.‘
The National Titanium Dioxide Company Limited (Cristal)
- Advising a consortium of Japanese companies, Marubeni Corporation and Mizuho Leasing Company, on their recently-announced $2.4bn acquisition of the shares of aviation finance company Aircastle.
- Advised CPA 17 on its $6bn merger with W.P. Carey.
- Advised Cristal on the disposition of its global titanium dioxide business to Tronox for $1.67bn.
- Advising Pfizer on a joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline, in which the former will hold 32%.
- Advising CWI on its $4.6bn all-stock merger with Watermark Lodging Trust.
Greenberg Traurig LLP is prolific in real estate, healthcare, and financial services transactions, and is actively utilizing its nationwide reach to maintain and expand a list of noteworthy clients and cross-border mandates. A new addition to its client roster this year is office space giant WeWork, which New York-based partner Ejim Achi advised on its acquisition of Euclid. Other notable deals include Element Solutions' $4.2bn sale of Arysta LifeScience to UPL Corporation, led by Fort Lauderdale partner Donn Beloff, and J2 Acquisition's purchase of API Group for an estimated $2.9bn, which was led by a joined-up team from Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and New York. The M&A practice is jointly led by Alan Annex, Peter Lieberman, and Bruce March, operating out of Miami, Chicago, and Fort Lauderdale, respectively. Experienced partner Adel Aslani-Far joined the New York office from Latham & Watkins LLP in late 2019.
Fiona Adams; Alan Annex; Peter Lieberman; Bruce March
Hassman Research Institute
Apex Innovative Sciences
Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Restaurant Brands International
Replay Acquisition Corp.
Schultze Special Purpose Acquisition Corp.
- Represented Element Solutions in the sale of its agricultural solutions business consisting of Arysta LifeScience to UPL Corporation for $4.2bn.
- Represented J2 Acquisition in its acquisition of APi Group for $2.9bn.
- Representation of the Special Committee of Independent Directors of RLJ Entertainment in its going private acquisition by AMC Networks.
- Represented BioTelemetry in its acquisition via a reverse triangular merger of all of the issued and outstanding equity of Geneva Healthcare.
- Representation of WeWork in its acquisition of Euclid, a leading spatial-analytics platform.