(Boston) March 10, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP, an international law firm with a leading corporate practice, is representing Groove Networks, Inc., a leading provider of collaboration software for the “virtual office,” in its acquisition by Microsoft Corporation.
According to Groove Network’s March 10 announcement, the companies have entered into a definitive agreement in which Microsoft Corporation will acquire Groove Networks. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The acquisition brings to Microsoft the development talent and technology leadership of top Groove executives, including founder Ray Ozzie, a creator of IBM Corp.’s Lotus Notes. Ozzie will assume the role of chief technical officer, reporting to Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, chairman and chief software architect, with responsibility for influencing corporate-wide communication and collaboration offerings and associated platform infrastructure. Ozzie will also continue to be deeply involved with the Groove team, which will be part of Microsoft’s Information Worker Group.
“We developed Groove’s highly security-enhanced virtual office technology to help businesses and individuals — wherever they are, whenever they work — overcome the challenges presented by today’s increasingly decentralized work environment,” Ozzie said. “By joining forces with Microsoft, we can more effectively address the needs of information workers for collaboration solutions that ‘just work’ across organizational, geographic and network boundaries.”
“DLA Piper’s relationship with Groove has been exciting for the firm, and for me both personally and professionally,” said Ned Martin, a corporate and securities partner who is leading the DLA Piper team involved in the transaction. “I have enjoyed a long-standing relationship as counsel for Ray Ozzie and companies he has founded for more than 20 years.”
Martin added that, “DLA Piper has been working with Groove Networks since its founding in 1997 and it is exciting to see the company achieve this important milestone. Ray Ozzie is truly one of the great software innovators of our time, and he assembled at Groove a terrific management and legal team. To have the opportunity to assist his team in this key industry deal was very gratifying.”
In addition to Martin, DLA Piper’s team includes Jonathan Moulton, a partner in the firm’s Boston office, Mark Muedeking, a partner in the firm’s Baltimore office, Rick Ashley, a partner in the firm’s Chicago office, Tony Hugg, counsel in the Boston office, David Clarke, a partner in the firm’s Reston office, and Adrian Shulman and Scott Bleier, associates in the firm’s Boston office.
In the U.S., DLA Piper’s Mergers and Acquisitions group consists of an integrated team of more than 130 transactional lawyers and has ranked among the most active M&A practices in the country. In 2004, Gray Cary and Piper Rudnick were involved in more than 100 completed U.S. transactions representing a total value of approximately $25 billion. Combined, Gray Cary and Piper Rudnick would have ranked 6th nationally, based on completed U.S. deals, according to Thomson Financial 4Q 2004 league tables.
About Groove Networks Inc.
Founded in October 1997 and headquartered in Beverly, Mass., Groove Networks Inc. delivers the “virtual office” through software that allows teams of people to work together over a network as if they were in the same physical location. Groove software helps organizations, large and small, save money, time and eliminate travel by offering both a desktop application for instant joint work, and a set of customizable, open collaboration capabilities that enhance the utility and value of existing solutions.
About DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP DLA
Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP is a business law firm of 1,350 lawyers in offices throughout the U.S., whose core practices are corporate and securities, litigation, real estate, intellectual property and government affairs. Worldwide, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary has 2,800 lawyers in 49 offices in 18 countries, including the United Kingdom, mainland Europe and Asia, offering leading practices in commercial, corporate and finance, human resources, litigation, real estate, regulatory and legislative, and technology, media and communications.
In the U.S., DLA Piper’s M&A group handles complex transactions, including stock-for-stock mergers, management buyouts, tender offers, proxy contests, cross-border acquisitions, and divisional purchases and sales. The firm also represents special committees of boards and advise in contests for control, including hostile bids and proxy contests.