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October 13, 2009 7:23 PM

Shearman, Willkie On Hand for Bloomberg's BusinessWeek Buy

Posted by Brian Baxter

Shearman & Sterling and Willkie Farr & Gallagher advised longtime clients The McGraw-Hill Companies and Bloomberg L.P., respectively, on Bloomberg's acquisition of BusinessWeek announced late Tuesday.

Bloomberg had reportedly been vying with Thomson Reuters as the leading bidder for BusinessWeek, which like most media companies during the recession, has been hit hard by losses in advertising and circulation.

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, BusinessWeek reports that Bloomberg offered cash in the $2 million to $5 million range and agreed to assume the magazine's liabilities, such as severance payments for staff members. (We know that a deal of that size would not normally meet The Am Law Daily's high bar, but when an equity partner at Willkie could theoretically purchase a major print publication for their client, we're allowed to sob quietly in our cubicle while contemplating the demise of our medium.)

Shearman M&A partner Christa D'Alimonte led a team from the firm advising McGraw-Hill on the BusinessWeek sale that included employee benefits partner Kenneth Laverriere, antitrust partners Wayne Collins and Hans Jürgen Meyer-Lindemann, and litigation partners Brian Polovoy and James Tallon. (D'Alimonte did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

Willkie corporate partners Maurice Lefkort and David Levine advised Bloomberg L.P. The company is a longtime client of the firm, which had a major First Amendment win for the business news service in August when a federal court judge ruled that the Federal Reserve had to disclose emergency lending program records. (Willkie's Thomas Golden nabbed our Litigator of the Week honors for the victory.)

As part of the acquisition, the Bloomberg name will be incorporated into the BusinessWeek title in a still undetermined form. The deal is expected to close by December 1.

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