Dewey drafted for Disney defence
Legal Week reports
Dewey Ballantine has landed the role of defending key client Walt Disney against Comcast’s $66billion hostile merger bid, in the latest mega-merger to hit the resurgent US M&A market.
Under the terms of its proposal, Comcast would issue 0.78 shares of Comcast voting stock for each share of Disney common stock, while assuming $11.9billion of Disney’s debt.
Disney, a long-term client of Dewey, has rejected the bid and has called in Dewey’s co-chairman Morton Pierce and corporate partner Michael Aiello as lead counsel.
The merger bid is the largest in a raft of multi-billion dollar deals to hit the US in the past six months and a headline instruction for Dewey.
Last year, Dewey’s M&A practice, was ranked seventh in Thomson Financial’s US M&A table, two places ahead of Davis Polk & Wardwell, which is advising Comcast in the deal.
Davis Polk’s team is being led by M&A head Dennis Hersch and corporate partner William Aaronson.
Among Dewey’s 2003 deals, the firm represented Zimmer in its $3.2bn (£1.7bn) hostile bid for Centerpuls last June.
Davis Polk also landed a role on a major hostile bid in 2003, representing Oracle’s in the recently revised $9.3bn (£4.97bn) hostile bid for PeopleSoft.