The Lawyer’s new China Elite report contains the most detailed research available on the PRC legal market and contains unparalleled insight into the country's leading law firms. They vary in size, practice focus and geographic coverage, but they all share one common quality – ambition... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
US firms Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) and Skadden Arps Meagher & Flom took the lead roles on a deal that sees Japanese telecoms group SoftBank enter the US market by acquiring a 70 per cent stake in American mobile carrier Sprint Nextel.
The deal is valued at $20.1bn (£13.1bn) and will mark one of the largest ever cross-border deals out of Japan. As part of the agreement, SoftBank said it will pay $12.1bn (£7.5bn) to Sprint shareholders and use a further $8bn (£5bn) of new capital to strengthen Sprint’s balance sheet.
MoFo acted as lead counsel to SoftBank with a 16-strong team from the firm’s Tokyo and US offices. The deal was led by the firm’s Tokyo managing partner Ken Siegel, a corporate specialist, and San Francisco-based global M&A co-chair Robert Townsend.
Tokyo firm Mori Hamada & Matsumoto advised SoftBank on Japanese law, while Washington DC-based Dow Lohnes acted as regulatory counsel.
Skadden was lead counsel to Sprint, led by New York-based M&A partner Thomas Kennedy and Washington DC-based M&A partner Jeremy London. Other partners on the deal include New York-based corporate and finance partner Yossi Vebman, New York-based banking partner Stephanie Teicher and Washington DC-based antitrust partner Steven Sunshine.
It is understood that Washington DC-based firm Lawler Metzger Keeney & Logan acted as regulatory counsel to Sprint.
Together, Softbank and Sprint are estimated to have around 96 million users. Japanese businesses have spent $66bn in 559 overseas acquisitions so far this year, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Background to this deal:
The same team from MoFo and Mori Hamada & Matsumoto led for SoftBank in its $2.3bn acquisition of eAccess less than a month ago, a deal that came on the heels of SoftBank’s three-way transaction involving Yahoo! and Alibaba earlier this year. The deal, which was again led by MoFo’s Siegel, saw Alibaba repurchase half of Yahoo’s shares in the company for $7.6bn. The parties re-stated their shareholders agreements and Softbank became Alibaba’s largest shareholder. The transaction was one of the largest technology transactions of 2012 and marked one of the largest ever investments between a Japanese and a Chinese company.
Skadden has represented Sprint in a number of transactions, including on its opposition to AT&T’s attempted acquisition of T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in 2011.
Sign up for the new Deals Insider email newsletter here for the best of The Lawyer’s transactional coverage every Monday