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Paul Weiss, Skadden Behind IBM’s $33B Purchase of Red Hat

Oct. 29, 2018, 5:13 PM

Some of the country’s biggest names in M&A, attorneys from Paul Weiss and Skadden, helped put together IBM’s $33 billion cash purchase of Red Hat Inc., announced Oct. 28.

IBM’s acquisition —the second-largest technology deal ever—is aimed at catapulting the company into the ranks of the top cloud software competitors.

The deal, which is also the largest in IBM’s history, boosts the company’s credentials overnight in the fast-growing and lucrative cloud market—and gives it much-needed potential for real revenue growth.

Paul Weiss represented IBM, which will pay $190 per share for the company, in the deal. Leading the team were M&A partners Scott Barshay and Steve Williams and finance partner Greg Ezring.

Skadden took the helm for Red Hat, with partners Howard Ellin and Brandon Van Dyke leading the team.

Barshay made news in 2016 when he defected from Cravath, Swaine & Moore for Paul Weiss. Cravath rarely loses partners to other firms and his move was seen as a sign that Cravath was facing challenges to its lockstep compensation system, where partners are paid largely based on seniority as opposed to being credited based on work that they do.

Williams has experience with public company transactions, leveraged buy-outs, mergers-of-equals, board representations and special committee representations, as well as with private equity and venture capital transactions, auctions, joint ventures, and restructuring transactions.

His clients have included Citigroup, Janus Capital Group Inc., and Mastercard International.

Ezring represents private equity funds and other alternative asset managers, including Apollo Global Management LLC, and its portfolio companies in leveraged finance transactions, debt restructurings, and public equity offerings.

Skadden’s Ellin has represented clients in the media & entertainment, technology, consumer products, and healthcare industries like 21st Century Fox; The Walt Disney Company; Spotify Limited; Google, Mars, Inc.; and Express Scripts, Inc.

Van Dyke was named as a Rising Star by New York Law Journal in 2017. He has represented companies such as DuPont; 21st Century Fox; Medtronic Inc.; and Safeco in U.S. He works on cross-border mergers; acquisitions; takeovers; and leveraged buyouts.

With assistance from Ed Hammond, Kiel Porter, Alex Barinka, and Gerrit De Vynck.

To contact the reporter on this story: Melissa Heelan Stanzione in Washington at mstanzione@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com

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