Practice/Industry Group Overview
Global M&A Leader
Professionalism, attention to detail, creativity and commercial sensitivity: Sullivan & Cromwell’s Mergers and Acquisitions Group brings these virtues to every representation, for every client. S&C represents major international corporations in the world’s largest and most noteworthy transactions. It also represents smaller corporations whose transactions, while modest in monetary value, involve enormous strategic significance for them.
Teamwork and Collaboration
Teamwork is a hallmark of S&C. Lawyers from multiple disciplines and offices within the Firm work with each other and with the client, as well as with investment bankers, accountants, proxy solicitors and other advisers.
This close collaboration with clients and colleagues gives the M&A team great versatility. The Group can execute any type of transaction, in any industry, economic climate or geographic region.
Approach Rooted in Transactional Realities
Guided by clients’ commercial objectives and S&C’s deep experience, the Firm seeks to provide the best possible advice to achieve these objectives. As S&C lawyers meet the needs of the buyer and seller, they simultaneously aim to achieve the best possible terms for clients while helping them resolve issues in a commercially sensible matter with a view toward the overall success of the transaction.
Sullivan & Cromwell has broad experience in public company M&A transactions, including many of the largest and most transformative M&A transactions in corporate history. The Firm understands the significance of these transactions, whatever their size, to S&C’s clients. The extreme dedication to client service, attention to detail and commercial pragmatism of the Firm’s lawyers helps us partner with clients to accomplish their most important transactions.
S&C has helped clients successfully navigate the legal and commercial complexities of cross-border and multijurisdictional transactions in every region of the world, and it has done so for almost all of the Firm’s 135-year history. The myriad complex issues arising from competing jurisdictional legal demands and requirements provide opportunities to demonstrate the creativity and problem solving abilities of the Firm’s lawyers. S&C uses its tightly-integrated global office network and a unified culture to successfully structure and execute these complex transactions.
Going-Private/Special Committee/ LBO
Recent years have highlighted the significant risks to participants in going-private and other conflict transactions. S&C has a deep understanding of the substantive approach and scrupulous processes that are necessary to protect a board of directors and other participants in an extremely litigious environment. The Firm’s unified culture facilitates an effective, efficient partnership between its corporate and litigation lawyers, enabling the Firm to provide sophisticated, forward-thinking advice in both executing and defending these transactions. The Firm’s strong credit and leveraged-finance practices round out the team’s offerings by providing creative and novel approaches and a deep knowledge of current credit and leveraged finance practices.
Unsolicited Transactions/Takeover Defense
S&C has years of experience assisting clients strategize in support of, and in defense of, unsolicited transactions. The Firm’s small-team, interdisciplinary approach facilitates the effective execution of these fast-moving transactions, both on offense and defense. The Firm’s deep experience in these transactions helps clients anticipate, prepare for and respond effectively to counterparty and third-party actions.
Private transactions offer a wide range of opportunities for lawyers to benefit their clients through sound legal and commercial advice on the highly bespoke processes and contracts that are the hallmark of private M&A. Meticulous attention to detail and intense focus on significant commercial points can make a meaningful difference for the Firm’s clients. S&C lawyers seek to make that difference on every transaction on which the Firm works.
Joint Venture and Minority Investment
S&C brings to bear many of its hallmark strengths in these transactions, which require an understanding of commercial realities and a pragmatic approach in order to find creative and highly tailored solutions to the complex issues raised. Clients especially benefit from S&C’s highly collaborative culture in these transactions where coordination among the legal and business teams is critical to a client’s success.
As the relationships between shareholders and managements are redefined, S&C increasingly is called upon to help boards and managements understand, prepare for and navigate the world of the activist shareholder. The capacity of the Firm’s lawyers to form a broad, interdisciplinary perspective is critical to developing advice for directors and managements that is tailored to each particular company and situation.
Spin-Off, Split-Off and Carve-Out IPO
These transactions require careful planning and seamless orchestration of multiple legal disciplines to ensure that all client objectives, including financial, strategic, tax and accounting objectives, are met. S&C’s tightly integrated, multidisciplinary team has the resources and breadth of knowledge in M&A, tax, capital markets, executive compensation and other subject-matter expertise to provide clients with unified best-in-class advice.
Selected M&A experience includes representing:
- Alcon (Switzerland), in its $52.9 billion sale of Nestlé’s Alcon stake to Novartis (Switzerland).
- Amgen (U.S.), in its $10.5 billion acquisition of Onyx Pharmaceuticals (U.S.).
- AT&T (U.S.), in its $86 billion acquisition of BellSouth (U.S.).
- BHP Billiton (Australia), in its $15.1 billion acquisition of Petrohawk Energy (U.S.).
- Fiat (Italy) and Chrysler (U.S.), as counsel to Fiat in its alliance with Chrysler and New Chrysler’s $2 billion bankruptcy acquisition of the assets of Old Chrysler and as counsel to Chrysler Group (U.S.) in the follow-on $10.5 billion acquisition of a majority stake by Fiat.
- InBev (Belgium), in its $60.8 billion acquisition of Anheuser-Busch (U.S.).
- ING (Netherlands), in its $9 billion sale of its ING Direct USA online banking operation to Capital One Financial (U.S.).
- Medco Health Solutions (U.S.), in its $29.1 billion merger with Express Scripts (U.S.).
- Perrigo (U.S.), in its $8.6 billion acquisition of Elan Pharmaceuticals (Ireland).
- Pharmasset (U.S.), in its $11 billion acquisition by Gilead Sciences (U.S.).
- UnitedHealth Group (U.S.), in its $4.9 billion acquisition of Amil Participações (Brazil).