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Peter Astiz can trace a history of Silicon Valley through one client, entrepreneur Philippe Kahn. Astiz, a partner at DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, has represented Kahn, founder of what is now Borland Software Corp., since 1984. Six years ago he helped Kahn sell off the next company he developed, Starfish Software Inc., to Motorola Inc. for about $250 million. Astiz is now handling the sale of LightSurf Technologies Inc., which Kahn founded in 1998, to VeriSign Inc. VeriSign announced Monday that it is acquiring the Santa Cruz multimedia messaging firm for $270 million in VeriSign stock. LightSurf has 250 employees in Santa Cruz and Bangalore, India. Astiz said LightSurf was on track to file an initial public offering but decided that the acquisition was “a chance to get quicker liquidity for shareholders at an attractive valuation.” LightSurf’s technology allows cellular phone subscribers to send text messages, photographs and video. The company’s services are used by telecommunications companies including Sprint, Bell Mobility and Kodak, and by handset manufacturers such as Motorola, Samsung Electronics Co. and Toshiba Inc. Mountain View-based VeriSign, which provides services for Internet and telecommunications networks, is known for registering Internet domain names. The acquisition will give it multimedia messaging and computer capabilities. VeriSign expects the deal to close by the end of the first quarter of this year. The company said in a release that it anticipates the acquisition to generate at least $30 million in incremental revenues for the remainder of 2005. Astiz’s team at DLA Piper included partners Sally Rau and David Plewa and associates Benjamin Griebe, Dawn Barsy and Dina Andrawess. Fenwick & West partner Jeffrey Vetter represented VeriSign in the transaction. He was assisted by partners E.A. Lisa Kenkel, Michael Farn, David Forst and Scott Spector and associates Melissa Eisenberg, Paul Nelson, Ryan Hayes, Rochelle Levy, Greg Sato, Blake Martell, Elizabeth Gartland and Timothy Fitzgibbon. — Brenda Sandburg EXCHANGING TIMES Homegrown Pillsbury Winthrop is helping to sell off a little piece of San Francisco history. The firm represents the parent company of the Pacific Exchange in a $50 million acquisition by Chicago-based Archipelago Holdings Inc. In a deal announced last week, Archipelago has agreed to purchase the Pacific Exchange’s options trading operation. The owner of ArcaEx, the largest electronic stock market, also agreed to buy the Pacific Exchange’s self-regulatory organization and a 20 percent interest in the Options Clearing Corp. The Pacific Exchange, founded in 1862, already closed its equities floor and migrated its stock trading to the Archipelago Exchange three years ago. The current deal, which is set to close next fall pending approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission, would make ArcaEx the first exchange to bring together the all-electronic trading of equity securities and options products. Pillsbury corporate partner Rodney Peck said the main challenge of the deal was the lack of models for the sale of a national exchange in the United States. The firm didn’t work on the Pacific Exchange’s earlier deal with Archipelago — although Peck said Pillsbury lawyers were able to draw from that example. Also helpful was Pillsbury’s experience helping the Pacific Exchange through demutualization last year. The process converted the exchange from a not-for-profit membership organization to a for-profit stock corporation. Peck said there is a move toward demutualizing stock exchanges, with even the New York Stock Exchange exploring the possibility. Also working on the deal from Pillsbury were partners Laura Watts and Mark Danielson and associates Stephen Williams, Joan Burns, Jessica Hackman and John Battaglia. Sullivan & Cromwell lawyers represented Archipelago in the acquisition. — Marie-Anne Hogarth

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