Global deal value is up thanks to a few megadeals, and while volume might be down as concerns grow about a potential merger slowdown in merger work as a result of the ongoing federal government shutdown, a half-dozen firms are reaping the benefits from a trio of transactions in the telecommunications space.
Edwards Wildman Palmer and Moore & Van Allen grabbed roles this week on Time Warner Cable’s $600 million acquisition of fiber optic network firm DukeNet Communications, a deal that will help the country’s second-largest cable company expand into the Southeast.
The deal, which includes cash and the repayment of debt, saw New York–based Time Warner turn to an Edwards Wildman team led by technology, media, and telecommunications practice cochair Peter Barrett, communications partner Jeffry Hardin, tax partner Karl Fryzel, and associates Kathryn Galbraith Day and Kate Price.
Time Warner Cable, which was spun off from former parent Time Warner in a $9.25 billion deal back in 2009, tapped Hardin for outside counsel two years ago on the company’s $3 billion buy of Insight Communications. That deal was announced the same day that predecessor firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge merged with Chicago’s Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon. (Hardin had joined Edwards Angell six months earlier when the firm acquired Washington, D.C.–based communications boutique Fleischman and Harding.)
Marc Lawrence-Apfelbaum serves as general counsel and corporate secretary for Time Warner Cable. Former Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison partner Peter Haje is an independent member of the company’s board of directors, along with former U.S. senator and current Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld adjunct senior policy adviser John Sununu.
Moore & Van Allen, one of the largest firms in North Carolina, is advising Charlotte-based DukeNet on its proposed sale to Time Warner Cable. DukeNet is jointly owned by Charlotte-based Duke Energy and privately held Alinda Capital Partners.
Joseph Kelleher serves as general counsel of Greenwich, Connecticut–based Alinda Capital, while Julie Janson is chief legal officer and corporate secretary for Duke Energy. DukeNet’s sale to Time Warner Cable is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.
Am Law 100 firms Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Davis Polk & Wardwell also handled two large telecom transactions abroad that recently closed.
William Aaronson, a Davis Polk corporate partner leading a team from the firm advising Belgian chemical giant Solvay on its $1.3 billion acquisition this week of Chemlogics Group, is also representing Luxembourg-based Millicom International Cellular on the $4.4 billion merger of its Colombian telecom and media operations with Colombian utility Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM).
Davis Polk tax partner Neil Barr, antitrust counsel Stephen Pepper, associates Francisco Nunez and Avinash Venkatesh, and foreign temporary associate Efrain Salazar are also working on the deal for Millicom, along with leading Spanish firm Uria Menendez and local Colombian shop Brigard & Urrutia. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2014, pending Colombian regulatory approvals.
Meanwhile, a Cleary team led by corporate partner Yulia Solomakhina, finance partner Raj Panasar, and associates Maxim Izvekov, Victor Shmakov, and Richard Watkins are advising MegaFon, the second-largest mobile operator in Russia, on the closure last week of its $1.2 billion purchase of Scartel and Yota—owners of the country’s nascent 4G wireless network—from controlling shareholder Garsdale Investments.
Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov owns a majority stake in Moscow-based MegaFon, which is also being advised on its acquisition of Scartel and Yota by British firm Lawrence Graham. The deal, which helps MegaFon expand into the high-speed Internet space, closed on October 1. Anna Serebryanikova serves as MegaFon’s in-house director of legal affairs and government relations.