To make sure his client, Supervalu Inc., walked away with the choicest pieces in the breakup of the supermarket and drugstore giant Albertsons Inc., Igor Kirman, 36, had to juggle three contracts that disposed of the entire company. And when the $17.4 billion deal tanked at the last minute, the Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz partner revived it by crafting a solution to appease Albertsons’ antitrust concerns.

  • Dealmakers: Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Kirman’s reputation for being cool under pressure led him to the assignment in the first place. In the fall of 2005, Wachtell partner Andrew Brownstein received a call from the executive vice president at Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based Supervalu Inc., an occasional client. Supervalu wanted to enter the bidding process for Albertsons’ assets. Brownstein needed someone to help him execute the deal. He chose Kirman, whom he describes in one adjective: unflappable.

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