Practice Areas & Industries: Sullivan & Cromwell LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

The Private Equity Group at Sullivan & Cromwell advises on private equity and strategic investments, as well as on the exits from those investments through M&A and capital markets transactions. Financing is often critical to the success of private equity transactions; our private equity practice includes expertise in high-yield debt offerings, bank lending and structured ¿nancings. Our experience in structuring and organizing private equity funds, and representing investors in those funds, enables our clients to structure transactions in a manner that addresses the unique tax and other concerns of funds’ investors and principals.

Sullivan & Cromwell’s private equity practice draws on the Firm’s global preeminence in M&A, capital markets, bank lending, structured finance and tax. Depending on the particular circumstances of a transaction, clients may call on the Firm’s expertise in a wide range of other areas, from employee benefits or environmental law to insurance, intellectual property or litigation. Sullivan & Cromwell is also one of the world leaders in real estate private equity transactions.

Internationally, Sullivan & Cromwell has local law capabilities in France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom, offices in Australia and an outstanding practice in China. This allows us to provide highly integrated advice on cross-border deals. In Asia, our private equity practice extends to our three offices in the region, giving us a presence that few other firms can match.

Recently, Sullivan & Cromwell has been involved in a number of high-profile private equity transactions, including representing:

  • Anheuser-Busch InBev in the $2.3 billion sale of Busch Entertainment Corporation to an entity established by Blackstone Capital Partners and in the $1.8 billion sale of Oriental Brewery to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
  • AOT Bedding Super Holdings, LLC, a newly formed company sponsored by certain affiliates of Ares Management and Teachers’ Private Capital, in its $760 million acquisition of Simmons Bedding Company
  • Apollo Global Management and CVC Capital Partners in their $1.3 billion acquisition of Brit Insurance Holdings N.V.
  • Barclays PLC in its $15.2 billion sale of Barclays Global Investors (BGI), which included the iShares business, to BlackRock. For her role in the transaction, partner Alison Ressler, head of the Firm’s California practice and co-head of the Firm’s Private Equity group, was recognized as “Dealmaker of the Week” by The Am Law Daily (June 19, 2009).
  • China Investment Corporation (as part of a consortium of equity investors) in the $1 billion investment in Diamond S Shipping
  • Colony Capital LLC in its $1 billion acquisition, along with General Atlantic LLC, of First Republic Bank from Bank of America 
  • CVC Capital Partners in the $4.2 billion sale of a 42.5% ownership interest in Univar to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC. CVC pursued a dual-track process, also considering an IPO, which S&C also led. 
  • Frank McCourt and his entities in the $2.15 billion sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers professional baseball team to Guggenheim Baseball Management
  • Goldman Sachs Group, through its principal investment area, GSPIA, in the €1.2 billion purchase of Ontex NV by Goldman and TPG Capital from Candover Investments Plc 
  • Healthscope Limited on its approximately A$ 2.7 billion (app. $2.3 billion) acquisition by The Carlyle Group and TPG Capital 
  • IMS Health, Inc. in its $5.2 billion acquisition by TPG Capital and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board – the largest leveraged buyout announced in 2009 
  • J.C. Flowers, as part of an investor group, in the $13.9 billion acquisition of IndyMac Federal Bank from the FDIC 
  • Pershing Square and Fairholme Capital Management in their $3.925 billion capital commitment for the stand-alone plan of General Growth Properties and Fairholme’s subsequent sale of its $1.7 billion position in General Growth Properties 
  • Rhône Capital LLC in its €900 million ($1.3 billion) acquisition of Evonik Carbon Black GmbH and other subsidiaries of Degussa GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Evonik Industries AG 
  • Silver Lake Partners and Skype Global S.à r.l. on the $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype by Microsoft from a Silver Lake-led investor consortium. For their role in the transaction, partners Alison Ressler and Sarah Payne were recognized as “Dealmakers of the Week” by The Am Law Daily (May 13, 2011)
  • Veritas Capital in its $1.25 billion acquisition of the healthcare business of Thomson Reuters 

In addition to the transactions listed above, the roster of clients for whom Sullivan & Cromwell provides private equity advice includes Aquiline Capital Partners, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, The Carlyle Group, CIM Group, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Softbank, Tinicum Capital Partners, Vista Equity Partners and Warburg Pincus, among others.