The Work

October 28, 2010 2:53 PM

Latham, Alston Handle Another Billion-Dollar Carlyle Group Deal

Posted by Brian Baxter

UPDATE: 10/28/10, 6:00 p.m. The fifth paragraph of this post has been updated with the names of the lawyers from Latham & Watkins.

The Carlyle Group continues to keep its lawyers busy as it invests billions in the telecommunications market, even when one of its regular outside firms isn't representing the Washington, D.C.-based buyout shop.

Latham & Watkins and Alston & Bird jointly advised Carlyle earlier this week on its $3 billion acquisition of telecommunications equipment maker CommScope. But in the private equity giant's $2.6 billion takeover of Syniverse Technologies, announced on Thursday, Latham and Alston found themselves sitting on opposite sides of the table.  

Syniverse turned to Alston corporate cochair David Brown, Jr., for counsel on its acquisition by Carlyle. Brown leads a D.C.-based team including M&A partners Justin Howard and Christopher Rosselli, finance partner Paul Cushing, antitrust chair Teresa Bonder, employee benefits partners Emily Mao and Michael Stevens, IP partner George Taulbee, and regulatory partner Jason Waite. (An Alston team led by corporate partner C. Mark Kelly in Charlotte took the lead for Carlyle on the CommScope deal.)

Alston has long handled corporate, litigation, and regulatory matters for Tampa-based Syniverse. Brown and the firm advised Syniverse last year on its $175 million acquisition of VeriSign's messaging and mobile media business. (Laura Binion, Syniverse's general counsel, joined the company in May 2008.)

Latham lawyers predominately based in D.C. handled the CommScope transaction for Carlyle, but it was the firm's New York office that took the lead on the Syniverse deal. M&A partners Ted Sonnenschein and Eric Schwartzman and private equity finance partners Jennifer Van Driesen and Rachel Sheridan advised on the transaction. (Carlyle managing director and general counsel Jeffrey Ferguson is a former Latham associate.)

Over the past few months Latham has advised Carlyle on its $1.3 billion acquisition of Brazilian health care company Grupo Qualicorp and $3.8 billion buyout of vitamin and supplement maker NBTY.

The Syniverse deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.

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