The Work

February 14, 2011 3:44 PM

Davis Polk, Wilson Sonsini Make Music Advising Pandora on IPO Plan

Posted by Brian Baxter

Only a few years after being on the brink of insolvency, Internet radio service Pandora Media filed to raise $100 million in an initial public offering, according to The New York Times.

Davis Polk & Wardwell corporate partner Martin Wellington in Menlo Park, Calif., is advising Pandora as it goes public. 

Pandora's IPO legal fees are not yet available. However, the company's securities filing shows general counsel Delida Costin received a $50,000 bonus for her work establishing an in-house legal department and improving "board processes."

Costin is a former Goodwin Procter and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman associate who became Pandora's general counsel in April 2010. Her total compensation last year--including about $230,000 in salary and bonuses and $177,500 in stock options--was $400,909.

Tim Westergren, who founded Pandora in 2000 as part of the Music Genome Project, a mathematical algorithm to analyze and categorize music, now owns less than 3 percent of the company, SEC filings show. The remaining owners are primarily Silicon Valley-based venture capital firms and other investors.

Pandora is the second major Silicon Valley-area company this year to disclose plans to go public. Online networking site LinkedIn announced a proposed $175 million IPO in January.

As we've previously reported, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati vice-chair Jeffrey Saper is advising LinkedIn on its IPO. Saper and corporate partner Michael Nordtvedt are also representing underwriters led by JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley on Pandora's proposed public listing. The Recorder, a sibling publication in California, reported on Friday that Wilson Sonsini has been busy picking up IPO work for Silicon Valley companies as the U.S. IPO market finally begins to heat up.

Also filing to go public on Friday was Freescale Semiconductor, the Austin-based microchip maker that was acquired by a private equity consortium in September 2006 for $17.6 billion.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom corporate finance partner Jennifer Bensch is advising Freescale on its proposed IPO, which is seeking to raise at least $1.15 billion in a Nasdaq listing. Skadden served as outside counsel to the private equity group led by The Blackstone Group that acquired Freescale in 2006. Offshore firm Conyers Dill & Pearman is providing Bermuda counsel to the company.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore corporate partners Andrew Pitts and Joel Herold in New York are advising underwriters led by Citigroup and Deutsche Bank Securities. Legal fees related to the IPO by Freescale were not yet available, but an S-1 filing by the company shows that its GC, Jonathan Greenberg, received $1.3 million in compensation last year, including salary, bonuses, and stock options.

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