A group of more than two dozen Hogan Lovells’ lawyers is helping Adobe Systems Inc. ramp up in the digital commerce market, advising the 35-year-old software company in its $1.68 billion buy of e-commerce services provider Magento Commerce.
Adobe, which makes the popular Photoshop and Illustrator creative programs, said Monday that the deal will add a key piece of commerce functionality to its cloud-based platform that services both business-to-business and business-to-consumer customers, while strengthening Adobe’s hand relative to marketing software rivals such as Oracle Corp. and Salesforce.com Inc.
A team of lawyers from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson is counseling Permira Advisers on its sale of Magento, as well as another deal announced this week that will see the buyout giant invest $350 million for a controlling stake in Chevy Chase, Maryland-based online wedding marketplace WeddingWire Inc. Fried Frank corporate partner Brian Mangino is handling the WeddingWire investment and Magento divestiture for Permira.
Other Fried Frank lawyers working on the Magento deal include executive compensation and Employee Retirement Income Security Act partner Adam Kaminsky, tax partner Alan Kaden, antitrust and competition partner Nathaniel Asker and intellectual property partner Amir Ghavi. Magento’s general counsel is former Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati associate Aparna Bawa.
Magento, already an Adobe partner, was picked up by Permira from eBay Inc. in 2015 for a mere $200 million, according to TechCrunch. In 2017, Chinese investment firm Hillhouse Capital Group invested $250 million in Magento. Permira said that Hillhouse Capital will now sell its stake in Magento to San Jose-based Adobe.
The transaction, which will see Permira earn roughly five times what it initially invested in Magento, is expected to close during the third quarter of this year. Brands like Canon, Rosetta Stone and designer Paul Smith use Magento’s technology to operate their online stores. Both Adobe and Magento share similar customers, such as The Coca-Cola Co., Nestlé SA and Warner Music Group Corp.
A 25-lawyer team from Hogan Lovells led by M&A partner Jane Ross and technology and IP transactions partner John Brockland is handling the deal for Adobe, whose outgoing general counsel is Michael Dillon. Ross and Brockland were part of a high-profile transactional team that joined Hogan Lovells last year from Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
The group, which has a total of 10 partners from across several different practices, includes executive compensation, employee benefits and share incentives partner Michael Frank; tax partner Jeffrey Tolin; cybersecurity and privacy partner Scott Loughlin; international trade and investment and trade compliance partners T. Clark Weymouth and Andrew Keller; antitrust, competition and economic regulation partner Logan Breed; corporate and international M&A partner Alex Dolmans; and employment and international benefits partner Silvia Bauzá.
As for Fried Frank, the firm also recently acted as outside counsel to J.P. Morgan Securities in its role as financial adviser to Walmart Inc. on its $16 billion acquisition of a 77 percent stake in Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart.