Cleary Gottlieb bags tripartite media merger

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has scooped the first transatlantic media superpower merger by working on the Vivendi – Canal Plus – Seagram deal.

The $100bn (£66bn) cross-border merger between the three media powerhouses covers three jurisdictions.

Vivendi and Seagram used separate firms in France, the US and Canada while Canal Plus used Cleary Gottlieb for all but the Canadian elements.

Cleary Gottlieb came on board three months after negotiations because the deal was done in two sections.

It was used to negotiate the final tie-up with Canal Plus. A source close to the deal says: “Seagram’s lawyers had a quarter-back role whereas Cleary had a more discreet role.”

Vivendi’s long standing legal adviser Bredin Prat was engaged with Jean Francois Prat and Olivier Assant as co-ordinators. The Seagram’s team comprised of John G Finley at Simpson Thacher Bartlett in the US, partner Youssef Ejehan at Gide Loyrette Nouel and Clare Horner at Osler Hoskin & Harcourt in Canada.