Since January 2012, two DLA Piper lawyers in Washington have helped secure deals that exceeded a total of $1 billion.
DLA partner Eric Geppert assisted Al Jazeera Media Network in its $500 million acquisition of progressive cable network Current TV LLC. And partner Jeremy Lustman helped lead a team of DLA Piper lawyers who advised Israeli investors on $862 million in U.S. real estate transactions last year.
Geppert, a member of the firm's corporate and securities practice, said in an email that working with Al Jazeera was "an exciting and intense experience."
Current TV co-founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt announced the sale on January 3. The network, which will become Al Jazeera America this year, has struggled in the ratings since it began broadcasting in 2005 but says it reaches 60 million U.S. homes. Al Jazeera, which is owned by the Qatari government, is seen in more than 260 million households in 130 countries, according to the media network. But it only reaches about 5 million households in the United States.
"The transaction not only required a skilled team with experience doing deals in the cable-television media space, but also a public and government affairs team that could provide critical strategic advice and support on a variety of governmental, media sector and other public affairs issues that were implicated by the transaction," Geppert said.
For the Israeli investors, Lustman assisted last year with several real estate investments across the United States, including the CNN Building in Washington and the Walgreens Co. two-story building on the Las Vegas strip. He said the Israelis have "a lot of capital."
"They've become very active players on the real estate side," said Lustman, who also helps lead the firm's Israel practice.
Geppert said merger and acquisition work is "a core competency" of the firm. "We handle transactions that involve tough business or diligence issues," he said. "We strive to build close working relationships with our clients to execute on the business goals for the transaction. We are pragmatic and solutions-driven business counselors."