The Work

October 25, 2010 5:21 PM

Three Firms Advising on Carlyle Group's $3 Billion Bid for CommScope

Posted by Brian Baxter

UPDATE: 10/27/10, 9:10 a.m. CommScope has accepted a roughly $3 billion cash bid for the company by The Carlyle Group, according to The New York Times.

The Carlyle Group is in discussions with Hickory, N.C.-based CommScope to take the telecommunications equipment maker private in a deal worth nearly $3 billion, according to The New York Times. The potential deal is seen by some observers as a sign that credit markets are finally easing enough for private equity buyers to obtain the debt financing necessary for leveraged buyouts, Reuters reports.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher corporate and M&A partners Lois Herzeca and Eduardo Gallardo in New York are advising CommScope in the Carlyle discussions. CommScope general counsel Frank Wyatt II is handling in-house legal matters for the company. Given the tentative nature of the negotiations, lawyers were not available for comment on the talks.

Herzeca previously advised CommScope on its $2.6 billion acquisition of communications network manufacturer Andrew Corporation in June 2007. Herzeca was then a partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and led a team from the firm on that deal. She joined Gibson Dunn in May 2009.

A team of lawyers from Latham & Watkins and Alston & Bird is advising The Carlyle Group on the prospective deal.

Alston & Bird corporate partner C. Mark Kelly in Charlotte is leading a team from the firm that includes corporate cochair Gary Ivey, tax partner John Baron, IP partner Christopher Gegg, corporate partners John Latham and Lee Rimler, environmental partner Beverlee Silva, employee benefits partners Blake MacKay and Michael Stevens, and M&A counsel David Jacobs.

The firm is no stranger to doing legal work for Carlyle. Alston & Bird previously advised the Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm on its acquisition of OpenLink Financial, a maker of financial software products, for an undisclosed sum last year.

Latham private equity finance partners Christopher Brown and Patrick Shannon, antitrust partners E. Marcellus Williams and Susanne Zuehlke, telecommunications regulatory partner Karen Brinkmann, and antitrust counsel Sydney Smith led the team from the firm working on the transaction.

The Am Law Daily has also previously reported on the close ties between Latham and Carlyle, noting that the firm represented the private equity giant on its $1.3 billion acquisition of Brazilian health services fund Grupo Qualicorp in July. (Latham did not provide a list of its attorneys working on the CommScope matter.)

That deal occurred only a week after Latham lawyers represented Carlyle on its $3.8 billion all-cash buyout of vitamin and supplement maker NBTY in what is one of the largest LBOs of 2010. Latham also advised a Carlyle-led consortium of private equity firms selling health care business MultiPlan in a $3.1 billion secondary LBO in early July. Last month Latham represented Carlyle on a $270 million IPO for its CoreSite Realty unit.

Jeffrey Ferguson, managing director and general counsel at Carlyle, is a former Latham associate.

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