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Elon Musk Turns To McDermott Lawyers for Twitter Takeover Bid

April 15, 2022, 3:25 PM

McDermott Will & Emery lawyers are advising Elon Musk in his effort to take Twitter Inc. private at a valuation of $43 billion.

McDermott partners John Lutz and Heidi Steele filed papers Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announcing Musk’s attempt.

New York-based Lutz heads the firm’s structured investment and derivatives group. Steele, a partner in Chicago, advises on corporate securities and mergers and acquisitions.

Musk, the world’s richest person, has boasted that he is in a position to help unlock Twitter’s potential. Investors have been skeptical so far, as company shares closed at $45.08 Thursday, significantly below the $54.20 offer Musk made.

In Lutz, Musk is turning to an expert on tax aspects of complex transactions. Lutz has advised banks, insurance companies, investment managers, and sponsors in investment funds, among others, according to his online bio.

Steele’s experience is in public and private equity debt financings, which could play a key role as Musk looks to fund his offer.

McDermott has been on a growth streak, topping 20% year-over-year growth in revenue and profits per equity partner last year. It did more than $1.6 billion in business, and its partners earned on average more than $3 million last year, AmLaw reported.

Musk has been represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan lawyer Alex Spiro in a fight with the SEC, accusing the agency of leaking details of its investigation into the world’s richest man.

Tesla Inc., the electric carmaker responsible for the bulk of Musk’s wealth, has cycled through its top lawyers. In March, the company named David Searle acting head of legal and corporate secretary, its third new legal chief in two years.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index values Musk’s assets at more than $250 billion. He has more than 80 million Twitter followers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Roy Strom in Chicago at rstrom@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com