The Work

November 19, 2010 7:19 PM

No Go For O'Melveny On Harrah's IPO

Posted by Brian Baxter

A day after General Motors made a triumphant return to the capital markets, the world's largest gaming company pulled its planned $500 million initial public offering, citing difficult market conditions.

The IPO by GM, reported to be among the largest in history, netted $6.5 million in fees for its counsel at Jenner & Block, as reported by The Am Law Daily. But O'Melveny & Myers, which was tapped by Las Vegas-based Harrah's for its planned IPO, will have to wait for its payday. (O'Melveny corporate partner Monica Thurmond, who is listed on an SEC prospectus as advising Harrah's, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

Owned by private equity firms Apollo Advisors and TPG Capital, Harrah's is the first PE-backed company to pull its U.S. IPO in six months, Bloomberg reports. Harrah's had planned to change its name to Caesars Entertainment, but the company's $20 billion debt load led to a cool reception by the capital markets, according to The Associated Press.

While the IPO by GM may have given a shot in the arm to the sagging U.S. IPO market, the Detroit-based automaker also may have stolen some of Harrah's thunder, USA Today reports. (In addition to GM, Jenner has also advised Harrah's, but the work is of a slightly different variety.)

William Hartnett, chairman of the executive committee at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, was advising underwriters led by Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and Credit Suisse on the planned Harrah's IPO, along with corporate partners William Miller and John Tripodoro.

While Harrah's folded, GM wasn't the only successful U.S. IPO this week. The automaker does have a legal, albeit tangential, connection to another noteworthy listing--that of Booz Allen Hamilton.

GM's former general counsel, ex-Jenner corporate partner Robert Osborne, joined the McLean, Va.-based government consulting firm in June, the same month that Booz Allen announced it was planning a $300 million IPO to pay off debt. This week, Booz Allen made a strong public debut in a shaky market by raising $238 million, according to The Washington Post. (Carlyle will continue to own 70 percent of the consulting firm.)

As previously reported by The Am Law Daily, Debevoise & Plimpton corporate partner Matthew Kaplan is serving as lead issuer's counsel to Booz Allen. According to a recent prospectus filed by Booz Allen with the SEC, Debevoise has received $4.2 million in legal fees for its IPO work.

Latham & Watkins corporate partner Rachel Sheridan is advising underwriters led by Barclays Capital and Morgan Stanley.

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