Zillow’s app for tablets and smartphones. (Courtesy of Zillow)
Shearman & Sterling, which scored a big victory Monday for shareholders of defunct Russian energy giant Yukos, has teamed up with Perkins Coie to advise online property website Zillow on its $3.5 billion acquisition of rival Trulia.
The all-stock deal, also announced Monday, saw Trulia tap Goodwin Procter and Wilson Sonini Goodrich & Rosati for outside counsel on its proposed sale to Zillow. The transaction will make Seattle-based Zillow the largest company in the online real estate advertising and listing space.
Taking the lead for Zillow on the deal are Shearman M&A partners Peter Lyons in New York and Steve Camahort in San Francisco. Camahort, a veteran dealmaker who has handled transactions for Silicon Valley stalwarts like Twitter, joined Shearman in a high-profile lateral move from O’Melveny & Myers in 2008. Lyons’ ties to Expedia founder Richard Barton, a Zillow cofounder and executive chairman, helped the firm snag the lead role on its Trulia purchase. (Shearman and Lyons advised Expedia back in 2003 on its $3.3 billion merger with Barry Diller’s InterActiveCorp.)
Other Shearman lawyers working on the matter include antitrust partner Beau Buffier, executive compensation partner Doreen Lilienfeld, IP partner Richard Hsu, tax partner Larry Crouch, litigation partner Alan Goudiss, corporate counsel Nathan Sawyer and associates Zheng Bao, Nell Beekman, Ryan Bray, Rob Bucella, Karina Lubell, Jack Mellyn, Regina Park and Benjamin Petersen.
Perkins Coie emerging technologies partners David McShea and Andrew Moore are also advising Zillow, along with counsel Nick Ferrer and associate Allison Handy. McShea and Moore previously represented Zillow on its $71 million initial public offering in 2011, which an SEC filing shows generated $1.55 million in legal fees and expenses, and its $50 million acquisition last year of New York City real estate website StreetEasy. (Zillow general counsel Kathleen Phillips was promoted to COO of the company last year.)
As for Trulia, the San Francisco-based company raised $102 million through its own IPO in late 2012 that also generated $1.55 million in legal fees and expenses, according to an SEC filing at the time. Wilson Sonsini and Goodwin Procter worked on that listing, and the two firms have once again reprised their roles as counsel to Trulia.
Wilson Sonsini M&A partner Michael Ringler, a former Am Law Daily Dealmaker of the Week who briefly left last year for Kirkland & Ellis before rethinking his lateral move and returning to the firm, has taken the lead on the deal for Wilson Sonsini.
Goodwin Procter partner Rezwan Pavri is leading a team from his firm advising Trulia that includes corporate partner Lisa Haddad, executive compensation partner Lynda Galligan, labor and employment partner Kristen Dumont, tax partner Kelsey Lemaster, IP partner James Riley Jr. and associates Korey Anvaripour, Sarah Bock, Cathy Doxsee, Blake Liggio, Lang Liu, Jacqueline Mercier, Ashley Pantuliano, Monica Patel, Mark Schenkel, Grace Wirth and Naomita Yadav.
Pavri joined Goodwin Procter in April from Wilson Sonsini, where he was part of a team from the firm that counseled Trulia last year on its acquisition of rival Market Leader for $355 million in stock and cash. Perkins Coie advised Market Leader on its sale to Trulia.
Scott Darling serves as general counsel for Trulia, whose sale to Zillow is expected to close sometime next year if approved by antitrust regulators. Both legacy companies will retain their names and continue to operate separate websites.
Latham & Watkins corporate partners Christopher “Kit” Kaufman and Stephen Amdur are representing Goldman Sachs as financial adviser to Zillow on the deal, along with counsel Michael Kuh. Davis Polk & Wardwell corporate partner Alan Denenberg and associate Jason Bassetti are advising J.P. Morgan Securities in its role as financial adviser to Trulia.
In March, Tribune Company-backed Classified Ventures LLC turned to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom for counsel on its $585 million sale of Apartments.com to real estate data company CoStar Group. Trulia and Zillow had both been considered as potential rival bidders for the apartment rental research business.