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SKADDEN HELPS YAHOO BUY AD COMPANY FOR $ 300M Yahoo Inc.’s latest move to bolster its online advertising arsenal was a boon for SKADDEN, ARPS, SLATE, MEAGHER & FLOM. The firm represented the search giant, which announced Sept. 4 it will acquire fellow Silicon Valley company BlueLithium in an all-cash deal worth $300 million. Yahoo hired Latham & Watkins for its previous advertising-world acquisition, a $650 million deal to buy New York’s Right Media. Skadden counsel Amr Razzak, who helped lead his firm’s team on the BlueLithium deal, said Yahoo’s not turning to Latham this time doesn’t mean the company had switched its M&A firms. “We’d love to see a switch,” he said, laughing. “But we know that Yahoo does deals with Latham from time to time and they do a lot of deals for us. They just use both firms.” The transaction with BlueLithium, which was represented by WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI, went smoothly, Razzak said. It was structured as a reverse subsidiary merger and was not affected, Razzak said, by the current credit crunch, which has put the brakes on several M&A transactions. “I think we had a healthy deal dynamic,” he said. “When issues did come up, everybody tried to be constructive.” San Jose’s BlueLithium allows advertisers to only pay for ads that garner clicks. With this acquisition and the Right Media deal in April, Yahoo appears to be gathering more sophisticated online advertising tools. Analysts say acquiring these tools for so-called behaviorally targeted advertising is a key goal for the Internet’s biggest companies, such as Google and Microsoft Corp. Earlier this year, Google acquired online ad company DoubleClick Inc. for $3.1 billion, and Microsoft snapped up another such company, aQuantive Inc., for $6 billion. A June study by New York research firm eMarketer Inc. estimated that spending on behaviorally targeted online advertising will soar from $575 million this year to $1 billion in 2008. Skadden partner Kenton King from the firm’s Palo Alto office led the deal for Yahoo, with help from partners Marc Packer, David Hansen, Paul Oosterhuis, Moshe Kushman and Michael Lawson; counsel Razzak, Eric Sensenbrenner and Kristen Major; and associates M. Oren Epstein, S. Anita Sinha, Melissa Schmelzer, Trevor Katende, Aaron Feinberg, Samuel Krause, David McFarlane, Anna Chen and Stacy Kray. From Wilson Sonsini, partners Robert Ishii and Mark Baudler led the BlueLithium team.

Jessie Seyfer

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