Fenwick and O’Melveny join local firm as Cisco buys Israeli software group

US firms Fenwick & West and O’Melveny & Myers and Israel’s Herzog Fox & Neeman have landed roles as Cisco acquires Israeli software maker Intucell for an estimated $475m (£300m).

Tech Media

The deal boosts the networking giant’s mobile data traffic capabilities, marking the company’s second acquisition of an Israeli company over the past 12 months.

Cisco turned to longstanding counsel Fenwick & West, which fielding a team comprising corporate partner Andrew Luh, tax partner Ron Schrotenboe, executive compensation and employee benefits chair Scott Specter and antitrust and unfair competition chair Mark Ostrau.

The team all advised from the firm’s Mountain View office.

San Francisco-based technology partner Stephen Gillespie also played a key role in advising the Cisco on specific IP issues.

Herzog Fox was retained to advise Intucell and all of its shareholders. The team was led by hi-tech head Alon Sahar alongside corporate partner Haim Gueta, who specialises in advising companies in the technology sector on M&A, corporate finance and venture capital issues, and associate Simcha Koevary.

O’Melveny was also drafted in to provide advice on several specific parts of the deal to Bessemer Venture Partners, which invested $6m (£3.8m) in Intucell in 2011 in exchange for a stake of almost 50 per cent equity in the business. M&A practice chair Steven Tonsfeldt, tax partner Robert Fisher and counsel Warren Fox led the team from the firm’s Silicon Valley office. Washington DC-based partner Dave Beddow also provided antitrust advice.

The transaction will see Cisco pay $475m (£300m) in cash plus retention incentives to acquire the software maker’s entire business and existing operations.

The deal is expected to close at the end of Cisco’s third fiscal quarter, which ends in April 2013.

Background to this deal:

The deal is the second time that Cisco has acquired an Israeli company in the last 12 months. In March 2012 it acquired Israeli video software company NDS Group for $5bn (18 June 2012). Fenwick and Herzog Fox were both retained on this deal too, with the US firm advising Cisco from the US side alongside UK counsel Eversheds. The NDS legal line-up saw Herzog Fox, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom Travers Smith and Clifford Chance all win roles.

Fenwick is one of Cisco’s go-to law firms, having advised the company on a host of deals in recent months including the NDS acquisition and the acquisition of cloud security startup Virtuata (25 July 2012).

Fenwick’s co-chair of the M&A group, Douglas Cogen, is the firm’s primary relationship partner for Cisco.

Herzog has acted for Intucell on a number of deals in the past. Earlier this year the firm advised the software maker on its license service agreement with AT&T in connection with its Self Optimizing Network (SON) technology, which it deploys across its US wireless network.

Gueta and Sahar have known Intucell’s co-founder and CEO Rani Wellingstein for over a decade, having worked with him since he founded mobile home screen marketing company Celltick Technologies in 2000. Herzog kept up the relationship with Wellingstein since he co-founded Intucell in 2008 and has acted for the software maker ever since.

For more about Cisco’s acquisition history and its in-house legal team, see The Lawyer Transatlantic Elite 2012.