In House: Mergers & Acquisitions Archives
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American businesses are undergoing a major consolidation period as mergers and acquisitions continue to fuel business growth. 2015 was the biggest year ever for mergers and acquisitions, with $4.7 trillion in mergers and acquisitions, according to Thomson Reuters. And the trend doesn't show signs of reversing anytime soon.

Mergers and acquisitions put in-house attorneys in a unique position. They're deal makers, negotiators, and compliance experts -- yet they might also need to polish up their resumes, should legal departments be consolidated. Here's what in-house counsel need to know about dealing with mergers and acquisitions.

As soon as this week, Time Warner Cable could finally find the buyer it's spent years searching for, should federal regulators approve the $67.1 billion deal. But Time Warner isn't the only big name looking to be bought up these days.

From insurance, to retail, to railroads, companies are pursuing mergers left and right. Here are five that we've got our eye on.

If you don't already work for a corporate Goliath, you may soon. From health care to tech to hospitality, corporate mergers and acquisitions are skyrocketing. They'll soon outpace the $4.6 trillion record set in 2007, the Los Angeles Times reports.

But when two companies merge, what happens to their in-house attorneys?

Merger of Viagra Maker and Allergan Could Be Biggest of 2015

Share prices of Allergan exploded out of the opening bell and topped out with an almost 8 percent gain over the stock's closing. It's been a good several trading days for the Ireland-based pharmaceutical company.

The lastest jump in prices has been attributed to "preliminary friendly discussions" regarding Pfizer's proposed takeover of Allergan. If the deal goes through, it stands poised to be largest takeover deal of 2015.

Shortly after its planned merger with Comcast fell through, Time Warner Cable may soon be purchased by Charter Communications for $55 billion dollars. After a messy break up, that's quite the rebound for the cable and broadband company.

The merger between the two companies is spurred largely by Charter's desire to expand its broadband holdings, according to The New York Times. As consumers move away from traditional cable to online streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix, Internet provision has become one of the most important parts of many cable packages. Though the merged company would be smaller than proposed Comcast-TWC deal, it could raise similar concerns.

Comcast-Time Warner Merger Slightly More Doubtful

The merger between Comcast and Time Warner may have hit some rocky shoals, The New York Times and other outlets have been reporting all weekend. Sources inside the Justice Department, which has the final say over whether merger would go through, are skeptical of the deal because it would give the new company "just under 30 percent of the country's pay television subscribers" and "an estimated 35 to 50 percent of the nation's broadband Internet service," according to the Times.

That's got regulators concerned, despite Comcast's protestations that the deal is really in consumers' best interest.

More BigLaw Insider Trading (Now With Edible Conspiracies!)

It's like the script of a bad movie.

One man, a Touro Law Center graduate (Google it -- it exists), worked as a career managing law clerk at BigLaw mergers and acquisitions powerhouse Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. You can probably guess where this is going.

He'd allegedly pass along tips to a friend, who passed them to a broker, and eventually, someone noticed and the friend turned state's witness. The only surprising part of the story is the lengths that they went to to avoid getting caught.

Delaware's reputation as a corporate tax haven is not news, nor is the amount of companies that incorporate in Delaware (more than half of Fortune 500 companies). What is news is this: the Delaware Supreme Court recently adopted a new standard of review for certain kinds of buyouts and mergers.

Do we have your attention now?

"Novel Question of Law"

In a case instigated by the merger of Ron Perelman's M&F with M & F Worldwide, the Delaware Supreme Court had to determine what the proper standard of review was for a "private merger conditioned upfront by the controlling stockholder on approval by both a properly empowered, independent committee and an informed, uncoerced majority-of-the-minority vote."

Albertsons and Safeway Merge Into Mega Grocery

Cerberus Capital Management agreed to buy Safeway for more than $9 billion and plans to merge it with Albertsons.

Safeway, the second largest grocer in the U.S., will merge with Albertsons, the fifth largest grocer, which Cerberus bought from SuperValu last year, Forbes reports. But this deal may not be in the (brown paper) bag quite just yet.

3 Reasons In House Counsel Should Know WhatsApp With Facebook

Facebook struck again, this time dropping $19 billion ($16bn for the company and $3bn for the company's founders, per Wired) on WhatsApp, an insanely popular messaging app. For context the number is:

In short: it's a big, big number. And even if you didn't strike it rich in the deal, there are reasons you should be paying attention.