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With a martini glass logo and a catchy name, Blue Martini Software Inc. has made a splash at retail department stores with its sales-boosting software. Now it’s got the attention of an investment firm with a thirst for software companies. Multi-Channel Holdings Inc., one of Golden Gate Capital’s portfolio companies, has agreed to buy Blue Martini in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $54 million. For Cooley Godward partner Eric Jensen, the deal represents the final stage in the evolution of Blue Martini, which he took public in July 2000. “It marks the end of the ups and downs of the dot-com era in a way,” Jensen said. Blue Martini makes software that helps salespeople interact with customers to sell more products. More than 160 companies use its software, including Harley-Davidson, Harrah’s Entertainment, Kohl’s, Mitsubishi, Panasonic and Saks Fifth Avenue. Golden Gate, a San Francisco private equity investment firm that manages approximately $2.6 billion of capital, is the lead investor in Multi-Channel Holdings. In the past four years Golden Gate has acquired 25 software companies. Lawyers in Kirkland & Ellis’ San Francisco office have represented Golden Gate in a string of recent acquisitions. “The negotiations that went into the Blue Martini deal were quite typical,” said Kirkland & Ellis partner Stephen Oetgen. But he and his colleagues paid tribute to the company’s history when the papers were signed. “We celebrated with the appropriate cocktail,” Oetgen said. A martini, of course. The Kirkland team also included lead partner Jeffrey Hammes, partner Jeffrey Golden and associate Jeremy Veit. The Cooley crew representing Blue Martini included partners David Lipkin, Robert “Buff” Miller, Eric Reifschneider, associates Jennifer Fonner DiNucci and Shawn Conway and special counsel Francis Fryscak. Blue Martini General Counsel Lara Williams also assisted on the deal. — Brenda Sandburg BROADCOM GOES BLUETOOTH For $32 million, Broadcom Corp. didn’t just want Zeevo Inc.’s technology: The broadband semiconductor maker wanted to be sure that it held onto Zeevo’s key staff, as well. So the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati lawyers representing Zeevo worked overtime on a host of compensation issues to complete the agreement for $29.4 million in cash and $2.6 million in stock. The deal is aimed at giving Broadcom entry into the Bluetooth wireless headset market. “In technology transactions, the people hold the key to the technology, so it’s critical to bring them along,” said Roger Stern, a partner in Wilson’s Palo Alto office who handled the benefits and compensation portions of the deal. Wilson partner Michael Danaher incorporated Zeevo in 1999, and after years of ups and downs — only one executive remains from the original 1999 group — he said he was glad to see the company become an acquisition target for bigger firms. “We had bids from multiple companies that were comparable in pricing,” he said, giving Zeevo some say in choosing a buyer that would provide a similar workplace culture. In addition to employee compensation and tax issues, the lawyers said the basics of the merger itself were rather complicated. “It’s a relatively complex deal,” said Don Williams, also a partner in Wilson’s Palo Alto office. “Broadcom used a very intricate merger agreement.” Now that the deal is on its way to being finalized, Danaher says he has mixed feelings about losing a client he’s represented since its beginnings. “Part of me is wistful. It would have been fun to watch the sharp-growth part of the curve,” Danaher said. “But this is good and puts the employees in a safe place.” The Wilson team included partner Michael Okada and associates Stephen Schmidt, Mark Harmon and Scott McCall. Broadcom was represented by Irell & Manella partners Andrew Gross, Elliot Freier, Matthew Sant and Thomas Kirschbaum, and associate Tracy Fredkin. Gross said Broadcom does not permit its lawyers to discuss transactions. — Justin Scheck

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