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Summly Deal Highlights Silicon Valley's Appetite for Overseas Acquisitions
Yahoo Inc.'s purchase of the news app Summly has generated plenty of press about its creator, London teenager Nick D'Aloisio. At 17, D'Aloisio, who founded the company two years ago, is younger than Yahoo itself.
But overlooked is how it's becoming much more common for Silicon Valley companies to shop overseas for acquisitions, says Thomas Gaynor, of counsel with Squire Sanders in Palo Alto, Calif., which advised Summly on the deal. Deal terms were not disclosed, but news reports have put the purchase price at $30 million.
Yahoo has shut down the app, but will incorporate its "automatic summarization algorithm" into its mobile products. The Summly app summarized news articles in under 400 characters for easier reading on mobile devices.
Gaynor says his team at Squire has been involved in a number of European startup sales to Silicon Valley companies, including the Italian location app Glancee in its sale to Facebook Inc. shortly before that company's IPO. Working with Gaynor were of counsel Matteo Daste in Palo Alto and partner Gregory Gale in Squire's Cleveland office. While the Summly deal was a fairly standard Valley startup acquisition, Gaynor says he expects more overseas startups to be sold to local companies this year.
Latham & Watkins partner Tad Freese, who worked with Yahoo on the deal and who has advised the search company for a number of years, said he, too, expects companies to look further afield for acquisitions.
"The large Silicon Valley companies are looking all over the world for startup deals," Freese says. Also working with Freese were London partner Nicholas Cline and counsel Linda Lorenat in Menlo Park, Calif.