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Representing Barrington Associates in its acquisition by Wells Fargo & Co. was a smooth transaction since it involved people well-acquainted with the world of mergers and acquisitions, said Lawrence Braun, the Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton partner working with Barrington. Not only that, but Braun had previously worked at Barrington as a partner, and was close friends with the partners involved. “I represented friends in the most important transaction they’ll ever do,” he said. In this case, it was helpful because not only did he know how they worked, but the partners involved were “remarkably good partners,” and able to make decisions together, he said. Barrington, a private investment banking firm based in Los Angeles, is often involved in M&A work, and the partners there are familiar with the legal workings of corporate transactions, Braun said. “You have people in the deal business selling their own business,” Braun said. “The Barrington guys have gone through deals with these same issues hundreds of times where typical sellers haven’t.” As a result, the Barrington team was familiar with the legal issues, which cut the education time typically required to get participants up to speed, Braun said. They could quickly move on to discussing the details. As part of the deal, Barrington will continue to operate under its existing name, as a division of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Securities, and become the bank’s main unit handling middle-market mergers and acquisitions. The transaction, which has an undisclosed price, is expected to close in the fourth quarter, pending regulatory approval. Along with Braun, the deal included Los Angeles-based partners John Bonn and Carlton Varner and associates Will Chuchawat, Glenn Nieves, Alan Leggett and Anik Banerjee; Del Mar Heights-based special counsel Dalton Sprinkle; and San Diego-based partner Amy Tranckino. Wells Fargo used their in-house counsel for the deal, with Robert Lee as the lead attorney.

Kellie Schmitt

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