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January 30, 2012 6:00 PM

Manny, Moe, and Jackpot: Skadden, Morgan Lewis Rev Up for Pep Boys Buyout

Posted by Brian Baxter

The Pep Boys—Manny, Moe, and Jack—are going private.

The Philadelphia-based auto parts repair business announced Monday that it is being acquired in a $1 billion buyout, including debt, by private equity firm The Gores Group, which will put up about $791 million in cash for the deal.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius is representing The Pep Boys, which operates more than 700 stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, on the proposed transaction. M&A partner James McKenzie, Jr., is leading a Morgan Lewis team working on the matter that also includes finance partner Michael Pedrick, antitrust partner Harry Robins, environmental transactions head Judith Walkoff, and employee benefits partner David Zelikoff.

Brian Zuckerman, who joined the Pep Boys in 1999 as a staff attorney, serves as general counsel of the Philadelphia-based company. In December 2003, Zuckerman chose Morgan Lewis to replace Willkie Farr & Gallagher as the auto chain's go-to outside counsel, according to a previous profile of Zuckerman by sibling publication The National Law Journal.

The Los Angeles–based Gores Group has turned to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom M&A partner Rick Madden, banking partner K. Kristine Dunn, and tax partner Michael Beinus for outside counsel on the deal.

Last year Skadden advised New York–based radio network Westwood One, in which The Gores Group owns a majority stake, on its stock-for-stock merger with Dial Global. Steven Eisner serves as senior vice president and general counsel for The Gores Group.

The private equity firm's acquisition of The Pep Boys, which was founded in 1921 by four Philadelphians (there were originally two Moes), is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012.

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