The Work

February 9, 2012 7:14 PM

Dewey, Wilson Sonsini Advise on Oracle's $1.9 Billion Purchase of Taleo

Posted by Claire Zillman

CORRECTION: 2/10/12, 2:20 p.m., GTC Law Group is the full name of the firm that handled IP matters for Oracle, not GTC Law. We regret the error. 

As part of its continuing effort to expand its cloud-computing capabilities, Oracle announced Thursday that it has agreed to buy human resources software maker Taleo Corporation for $1.9 billion. The deal comes on the heels of rival SAP's December takeover of a similar company, SuccessFactors

Oracle turned to Dewey & LeBoeuf partner Keith Flaum as its lead outside counsel on the transaction. Flaum was aided by partners Martha Steinman and Arthur Hazlitt. According to his Dewey bio, Flaum worked opposite Oracle in 2005, when he advised Siebel Systems on its $5.8 billion sale to the company. (Flaum was named a Dealmaker of the Year in 2006 by sibling publication The American Lawyer for his representation of eBay in its $3 billion purchase of Skype.)

Oracle's in-house mergers and acquisition attorneys Brian Higgins and E.B. McCusker also worked on the deal, as did GTC Law Group partners Sean Belanga, Ed Nortrup, and Anthony Decicco, who handled intellectual property matters for Oracle. 

Taleo, meanwhile, turned to its longtime counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Partner Mark Bertelsen advised the company when it incorporated in 1999 and has represented it ever since, including on its 2005 initial public offering.  

In an interview with The Am Law Daily on Thursday, Bertelsen called Oracle's acquisition of Taleo "bittersweet."

"To help take a company from zero value to $2 billion is very fulfilling," he said. "The good thing about working with entrepreneurs is that they tend to regenerate themselves. Relationships carry on, just in other places."

Wilson Sonsini partners Michael Ringler and Melissa Hollatz also worked on the deal. Josh Faddin is Taleo's senior vice president and general counsel. 

Oracle said buying Taleo will allow its customers to manage human resources, recruitment, and employee compensation on a Web-based platform, underscoring the fact that the deal is the latest in a series of transactions aimed at boosting Oracle's cloud-computing capabilities.

In October, with the help of Latham & Watkins, Oracle acquired customer service applications maker RightNow Technologies for roughly $1.5 billion. That deal followed Oracle's purchase of Endeca Technologies, a business intelligence and web commerce solutions provider. In 2010, Oracle went on a cloud-computing buying spree, announcing the acquisition of three companies offering Web-based services:  Art Technology Group, an e-commerce software company, for $1 billion; FatWire Software, a Web content management software maker; and InQuira, a customer relationship management (CRM) company. 

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