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Pillsbury Winthrop has stretched its IPO streak with the debut of client Multi-Fineline Electronix. The Anaheim-based maker of flexible circuit boards raised roughly $50 million in its public offering on June 25. Holding company WBL Corp. of Singapore owned 80 percent of the company, which also had investors in China, the Philippines and Malaysia. “They were a pleasure to deal with,” said Pillsbury senior associate Christopher Forrester “You just had to get up in the middle of the night to talk to them.” Pillsbury partner Gabriella Lombardi said the cross-border nature of the deal made due diligence and structuring the stockholder agreements a bit more complex than the standard IPO. Still, she said, even public offerings involving companies with foreign operations and investors are generally straightforward. IPOs, she said, “got a little uncommon for a while, but they’re not rocket science.” Pillsbury attorneys have been helping several technology companies find their way to market in recent months, including Atheros Communications Inc., which raised $126 million in February, and PRN Corp., which filed in May for $127 million. Other recent IPOs include SiRF Technology Inc. in April and PeopleSupport Inc. in May. The streak will continue, said Lombardi, as the firm has more IPOs in the pipeline. Stanton Wong, the San Francisco-based co-leader of Pillsbury’s securities practice team, led the group working on this deal, which included Palo Alto-based partners Lombardi and Cindy Schlaefer. Forrester and associates Justin Ferber and Jennifer Jett, all based in the North San Diego County office, also contributed. — Adrienne Sanders JUICY DEAL It’s been more than a century since the Hunt brothers built their tomato cannery in Hayward. Now the plant, which long ago ceased operations, is about to undergo a metamorphosis. Real estate developer Felson Companies Inc. paid $20 million for a third of the former cannery on 26 acres of land. Felson, which manages multi-family apartments in the San Francisco Bay Area, plans to redevelop the property for use as town homes, single-family residential and high-density residential units. “It’s one of the largest, if not the largest, deals in Hayward this year,” said Douglas Sands, a partner at Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass who represented Felson in the transaction. “It’s part of a revitalization or transformation of an industrial area into a residential area.” The city of Hayward has long eyed the property as a source for new housing. In its 2002 general plan, the city noted that most available land in Hayward has been developed for housing, commercial and industrial uses. In the cannery area, “older warehouses are reaching the point of obsolescence” the plan says, adding that the city was reviewing a plan to develop a new neighborhood there. The original Hunt Brothers Packing Co. became Hunt Foods Inc. in 1943 and was later acquired by ConAgra Foods Inc. The Hayward facility changed hands over the years and most recently belonged to Iowa-based Principal Life Insurance Co. and a related joint venture. Darrel Davison, in-house counsel at Principal, handled the sale to Felson. Coblentz, Patch partner Jeffry Bernstein worked with Sands on the deal. — Brenda Sandburg

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