Wachtell lands massive M&A hat trick

After snagging a role advising Disney on its defence of Comcast’s hostile takeover bid, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz can boast a role on all three of the bumper deals that are rocking the US M&A market.

In addition to its vigorous defence of Disney, Wachtell is advising AT&T Wireless on its sale to Cingular Wireless and Bank One on its merger with JPMorgan Chase.

Wachtell has even grabbed a role advising Sanofi-Synthelabo on US aspects of its $60bn (£31.48bn) hostile bid for Franco-German pharmaceutical company Aventis.

The AT&T Wireless auction has concluded with Cingular winning its bidding war with Vodafone. In snubbing regular client Vodafone, Sullivan & Cromwell has backed the winning horse on the $41bn (£21.51bn) deal.

Cingular is a joint venture between BellSouth and SBC Communications. Sullivan advised SBC, while Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson advised regular client BellSouth.

This left Vodafone to seek a new US adviser for the deal, and the mobile phone company plumped for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Wachtell and Merrill Lynch assisted AT&T, with Shearman & Sterling advising Merrill Lynch.

The Disney saga looks set to run and run. Wachtell partner Martin Lipton was drafted in to assist regular counsel Dewey Ballantine. Davis Polk & Wardwell is advising Comcast on its $66bn (£34.63bn) bid.