Todd Hamblet, the associate general counsel, Global Corporate and M&A at Uber Technologies Inc., helped the ride-sharing company wrap up perhaps its most ambitious international venture to date.
Hamblet oversaw a team from Cooley that formulated Uber’s joint venture with Yandex, the so-called “Google of Russia,” which created a ride-hailing business targeting Russia and the surrounding region in a venture pegged at a $3.4 billion value. Hamblet recently shared a bit about the deal with The Recorder and why it was a priority for Uber.
How did this deal get from term sheet to signed in two months? And why was it an important deal for Uber? I have a simple motto on my team—”execute, execute, execute.” So the short answer is that my team helped achieve an exceptional outcome through execution. More specifically, we brought subject matter expertise, issue spotting, project management, and focus on the key issues to expedite signing.
As a global company, we continually evaluate transactions to build a sustainable global business while optimizing the service for riders and drivers.
How big was the team internally that was working on this on the legal side, and how many folks at Cooley did you have working on it? How did it compare size-wise to other Uber deal teams you’ve been a part of? I am a firm believer in the power of teamwork. There were numerous colleagues and subject matter experts across the legal team, the corporate development team, and other Uber teams that contributed to the success of negotiating and managing this deal from term sheet to signing. That said, the core members of the corporate legal team that led on this deal were Christian Lymn and Andrew Glickman. Other contributors are too numerous to name but their contributions were (and continue to be) invaluable.
I have a similar response regarding the Cooley team. They drew on internal subject matter expertise across a wide range of issues to advise on the deal, but our team was led by Jamie Leigh and Ben Berle.
So, I gather this was a highly technical deal with very little precedent. Structurally, what stands out about it? I am reluctant to share too much of the “secret sauce,” but this was a highly technical deal, and joint ventures are notoriously difficult to negotiate. We also had to manage key issues, such as intellectual property and personnel matters, governance and compliance, and a complicated regulatory landscape.
I see your title is now AGC, Global Corporate and M&A. Is that new since this deal was signed? Yes, I was promoted during our mid-year performance review cycle. I believe there were many factors, including this transaction, that led to the promotion.
What exactly does the role entail? My team and I are responsible for global corporate matters, including M&A. Our mandate includes typical matters, such as all of our fundraising activity (equity and debt), credit facilities, M&A, board and shareholder matters and general corporate governance and maintenance matters. We also coordinate with other G&A functions such as accounting, tax and stock, and we work closely with our compensation/benefits and HR teams (among others).