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September 2, 2010 1:36 PM

Five Firms Line Up for 3G's $4 Billion Bite of Burger King

Posted by Brian Baxter

UPDATE: 9/3/10, 11:50 a.m. The names of the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher lawyers advising Goldman Sachs as financial adviser to Burger King have been added to the last paragraph of this story.

A whopper of a late summer for M&A lawyers grew even fatter Thursday, when Burger King announced its sale to investment firm 3G Capital for $4 billion. Four Am Law 100 firms landed key legal advisory roles on the deal, which will return the world’s second-largest hamburger chain to the private sector.

Eileen Nugent, cohead of the private equity group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, led a team from the firm advising Burger King that included M&A partners Thomas Greenberg and Richard Grossman, employee benefits chair Stuart Alperin, and banking practice partners James Douglas and Julia Czarniak.

Skadden has not traditionally done deal work for Burger King, which was initially taken private in July 2002 by a trio of private equity firms. Burger King went public through an IPO in May 2006, but despite a series of successful commercials starring its namesake, the Miami-based company has lagged behind fast food industry leader McDonald’s.

Nugent did not respond to a request for comment on Burger King’s sale to 3G, and two other Skadden partners declined to say how the firm became involved in the deal. Skadden worked with longtime Burger King outside counsel Holland & Knight on the transaction, which is expected to close before the end of the year. (Burger King has the right to seek higher offers through October 12.)

Holland & Knight corporate partners Kara MacCullough and Laurie Green led a team from the firm advising Burger King along with associates Alexandra Lumpkin, Aaron Goldberg, and Liliana Vidal. Burger King general counsel Anne Chwat and assistant general counsel Lisa Giles-Klein headed up in-house legal matters for the company on the sale.

Kirkland & Ellis M&A partners Stephen Fraidin and William Sorabella took the lead representing 3G on its Burger King acquisition. 3G’s general counsel is Eric Hirschhorn.

Fraidin, whom we named Dealmaker of the Week last year for advising NRG Energy on an unsolicited takeover attempt, previously represented 3G in its successful proxy contest for the election of a minority slate of directors to the board of railroad operator CSX. Fraidin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges private equity and M&A cochair Michael Aiello is advising Morgan Stanley, Burger King's financial adviser on the deal. Aiello, who is also advising Sanofi-Aventis on its $18.5 billion bid for Genzyme, is being assisted by corporate associate William Welty.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher corporate partner Lois Herzeca and associates Brian Gingold and Virginia Snider are representing Goldman Sachs, which is also serving as financial adviser to Burger King.

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