Latham & Watkins and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom nabbed work on both Charter Communications Inc.’s proposed $55 billion merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Avago Technologies’ $37 billion acquisition of Broadcom Corp.
It seems that TWC has staked a claim for the title of most popular target in town—after being stood up by would-be acquirer Comcast in a $45 billion deal scuttled last month because of regulatory pressure. But Charter came calling yet again with a bevy of other cable providers in tow. Over the last two years, Charter has faithfully pursued Time Warner with other offers and, more recently, a hostile bid that lost out to Comcast’s now-defunct deal.
Charter, however, hopes that the second time around it might have more success. On Tuesday, the Stamford, Connecticut-based cable company announced a staggering $78.7 billion—including debt—bid to acquire TWC and create a combined entity to challenge industry leader Comcast. The deal, which hopes to close by year’s end, will form a new public parent company called New Charter.
Earlier this year, Charter agreed to acquire video service provider Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion, a transaction that will be folded into Charter’s proposed takeover of TWC. Advance/Newhouse Partnership, the parent company of Bright House, will own 13-14 percent of New Charter, and Liberty Broadband Corp. will buy another 19-20 percent stake for $4.3 billion, according to a release issued by Charter and TWC. As one might expect, Am Law 100 heavy hitters have lined up to advise each of the principals to the transaction.
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is lead counsel to Charter, while Kirkland & Ellis is serving as finance counsel to the acquirer. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Latham and Skadden are working on behalf of TWC, with Sullivan & Cromwell and New York’s Sabin, Bermant & Gould providing counsel to Bright House and Advance/Newhouse. Baker Botts is advising longtime client Liberty Broadband.
In other M&A news …
In another megadeal tied to telecommunications, Singapore-based Avago Technologies will acquire Irvine, California-based Broadcom for $37 billion in cash and stock. Bloomberg reports that the tie-up comes on the heels of several other mergers between leading chipmakers.
The combination of Avago and Broadcom, which also specializes in semiconductors for use by cable television providers, is expected to enable competition with the likes of Intel and Qualcomm, according to The Wall Street Journal. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.
Legal Advisers: Latham for Avago; Skadden for Broadcom; Davis Polk & Wardwell for Broadcom’s board of directors; and Morrison & Foerster for Broadcom’s CEO.
Unisplendour, a subsidiary of Beijing-based Tsinghua Holdings, has agreed to acquire a 51 percent stake in H3C, an entity formed by the combination of Chinese information technology infrastructure company H3C Technologies and Hewlett-Packard’s China-based business.
The $2.3 billion deal, announced May 21, is expected to close prior to the end of 2015. According to HP, its partnership with Tsinghua Holding in creating H3C will establish a leading IT infrastructure force in China, employing over 8,000 people and sweeping in over $3 billion in annual revenue.
Legal Advisers: Allen & Overy, Skadden and Fangda Partners for HP; Davis Polk for HP’s financial adviser; Simpson Thacher and Zhong Lun Law Firm for Unisplendour.
Independence Group NL/Sirius Resources NL
Australian mining company Independence has decided that there is fortune to be found through its $1.4 billion acquisition of Sirius, which operates a nickel mine in Western Australia, among other mining ventures, according to sibling publication The Asian Lawyer.
Through the transaction, announced Monday, Independence will add a nickel operation boasting low production costs (particularly in comparison with the rest of those in Australia) to its assets. Additionally, Independence credits a combined entity with a “strong portfolio of high margin/long-life mining assets, across a range of base and precious metals,” as a draw for the deal.
Legal Advisers: Herbert Smith Freehills for Independence; and Ashurst for Sirius.
Hopkinton, Massachusetts-based EMC plans to pay $1.2 billion to purchase privately held, Bethesda, Maryland-based Virtustream, a deal that EMC expects will create a managed cloud services business.
The “IT as a service” acquirer additionally noted that existing Virtustream clients include Coca-Cola, Heinz (soon to be The Kraft Heinz Co.) and Hess Corp., among others. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of the year.
Legal Advisers: Skadden for EMC; and DLA Piper for Virtustream.
Greene King/Spirit Pub Company
Following a deal brewed up and announced in November, Greene King is poised to close on its $1.24 billion cash-and-stock buy of fellow British brewer and pub operator as U.K. antitrust regulators may soon give the go-ahead for a June closing.
While Greene King has agreed to offload nine of its own watering holes and seven of Spirit’s, a combined entity resulting from the impending acquisition would still boast more than 3,000 locations for U.K. denizens to slake their thirst. Bloomberg reports that the merger has been bogged down by intense antitrust scrutiny since it was unveiled late last year.
Legal Advisers: Linklaters for Greene King; and Slaughter and May for Spirit.