Robert Townsend is co-chair of Morrison & Foerster's Global M&A Practice Group. He has extensive transactional experience in the fields of M&A, securities law, technology and intellectual property matters, leveraged buyouts, and venture capital.
Mr. Townsend has represented clients in more than 200 public and private company acquisitions, strategic alliances, and financings, including numerous multi-billion dollar transactions. He represents companies operating in a broad range of industries, including technology (semiconductors, software, computers, Internet), telecommunications, media, consumer products, healthcare, life sciences, cleantech, energy, and wine. Mr. Townsend has experience in all aspects of M&A, including hostile and friendly public company transactions, public and private tender offers, 13e-3 transactions, carve-outs, and divestitures, and private company acquisitions. Mr. Townsend often advises on complex cross-border transactions, particularly those involving Japan, where he practiced for a number of years. His experience includes advising:
To view a more complete list see Matters.
In addition to his extensive M&A experience, Mr. Townsend has represented numerous public and private companies and investors in corporate and finance matters and regularly advises CEOs, Boards of Directors and Special Committees in strategic and corporate governance issues.
Mr. Townsend is widely recognized for his M&A acumen by leading independent authorities. He is recommended as a leading lawyer in Chambers USA, where clients have asserted that he is “highly responsive and provides great client service,” “a highly tactical M&A lawyer with deep expertise in Asian deals,” “extremely knowledgeable about recent trends and cases,” and “widely acknowledged for his expert work in high-value transactions.” Mr. Townsend’s honors include:
In addition to co-chairing Morrison & Foerster’s Global M&A Practice Group, Mr. Townsend is a member of the firm’s Compensation Committee.
724 Solutions, Inc. in its IPORepresented 724 Solutions, a Canadian wireless application service provider company in filing an initial public offering on Form F-1 in the United States.
Berkeley Electronic Press in its sale to ElsevierRepresented Internet-Journals, Inc. d/b/a Berkeley Electronic Press or “bepress”, in its sale to Elsevier, Inc., a global information analytics company and a subsidiary of RELX Group plc.
Broadcom’s co-founder in the company’s acquisition by AvagoRepresented Broadcom Corporation’s co-founder, who held approximately 25% of the voting shares of Broadcom due to his holding Class B shares that had 10x voting rights, in Broadcom’s $37 billion acquisition by Avago Technologies, for an enterprise value of approximately $77 billion.
The Chalone Wine Group, Ltd. in connection with going private transactionSpecial counsel to the Chalone Wine Group, Ltd., a NASDAQ-quoted company, in connection with a going private transaction and subsequent sale for over $100 million.
Chanel in its acquisition of St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & WineryRepresented Chanel, Inc. in its acquisition of St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery, a sustainably farmed, estate winery in Napa Valley.
The Clorox Company in its carveout sale of auto-related businessRepresented The Clorox Company in the carveout sale of its auto-related business to Avista Capital Partners, a New York private equity firm, for $780 million.
The Clorox Company in its acquisition of Burt's BeesRepresented The Clorox Company in its $950 million all-cash acquisition of Burt's Bees, a leader in natural personal care consumer products.
Intel in its acquisition of a Dutch chip manufacturerRepresented Intel Corporation in its $4.1 billion investment in ASML, a Dutch chip manufacturer.
Intel in its acquisition of LSI’s Axxia Networking BusinessAdvised Intel Corporation in its $650 million acquisition in Axxia Networking Business, a leading designer, developer and global supplier of a broad range of analog semiconductor devices with a focus on III-V based products and complex digital and mixed signal CMOS based devices.
Intel in its acquisition of McAfeeRepresented Intel Corporation in its largest acquisition ever, the $7.7 billion acquisition of McAfee, Inc., the world's largest dedicated security technology company.
Intel in its acquisition of Infineon’s WLS business unitRepresented Intel Corporation in its acquisition of the Wireless Solutions business (WLS) unit of German chip maker Infineon Technologies AG for $1.4 billion.
Intel in its acquisition of Wind RiverRepresented Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) in its $1 billion acquisition of Wind River Systems (NASDAQ: WIND), a software vendor in embedded devices through a public tender offer. The transaction was recognized as Merger/Acquisition of the Year 2009 by San Francisco Business Times.
McAfee in its acquisition of Skyhigh NetworksAdvised McAfee in its acquisition of Skyhigh Networks, Inc., a worldwide leader in the cloud access security broker (CASB) market segment.
McKesson in its acquisitions of Vantage and BiologicsRepresented McKesson Corporation in its acquisitions of Vantage Oncology, LLC and Biologics, Inc. for a combined value of $1.2 billion.
Novellus Systems in its merger with Lam ResearchRepresented Novellus Systems, Inc. in its $3.3 billion merger with Lam Research.
Pinnacle in its acquisition of Ameristar CasinosRepresented Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc., a NYSE-listed casino owner/operator, in its bid to acquire NASDAQ-listed Ameristar Casinos, Inc. in an all-cash merger, with a total enterprise value of $2.8 billion, including debt of $1.9 billion and cash on hand of $116 million.
Polycom’s Board of Directors in the company’s merger with Siris CapitalRepresented the Board of Directors of Polycom, Inc. in the company's $2 billion all-cash merger with Siris Capital Group LLC and the company's previously announced $1.6 billion cash and stock merger agreement with Canadian telecommunications company Mitel Networks Corp. The team advised the board to an unusual and advantageous outcome where the board determined the private equity sponsor deal to be superior to the prior strategic deal with Mitel, leading to the termination of the Mitel deal and acceptance of the Siris deal without litigation.
Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, Inc. in its sale to The Hershey CorporationRepresented Scharffen Berger, a first-tier chocolate manufacturer, in its acquisition by The Hershey Corporation.
Sebastiani Vineyards Inc. in the $300 million sale of winemaking division and marketing armRepresented Sebastiani Vineyards in the sale of its main winemaking division and marketing arm to Constellation, for approximately $300 million.
SoftBank in Sprint's acquisition of ClearwireRepresented SoftBank in connection with Sprint's $4 billion acquisition of the approximately 50 percent stake in Clearwire Corporation that Sprint does not already own for a total enterprise value of approximately $14 billion.
SoftBank in its acquisition of Sprint NextelRepresented Japanese wireless carrier SoftBank in its acquisition of a 78% stake in wireless operator Sprint Nextel for an enterprise value of $44.8 billion. This deal is the largest Asian acquisition or investment in the U.S.
Splunk in its acquisition of CaspidaRepresented Splunk in its acquisition of Caspida, Inc., a leading innovator in machine learning and behavioral analytics, for approximately $190 million.
Sprint and SoftBank in the proposed merger of Sprint and T-Mobile USRepresenting Sprint Corp. and SoftBank Group Corp., the controlling shareholder of Sprint, on the proposed all stock merger of Sprint and T-Mobile US Inc. The total implied enterprise value for Sprint in the transaction is approximately $59 billion and the aggregate for the combined company enterprise value is approximately $146 billion.
Strategic transaction to create Caesars Growth PartnersRepresented an independent Valuation Committee of the Board of Directors of Caesars Entertainment Corporation in a strategic transaction, anticipated to be valued at approximately $1.2 billion to create Caesars Growth Partners, LLC, a new growth and development venture.
Temasek in its investment in Verily Life SciencesRepresented Temasek in its $800 million investment in Verily Life Sciences, Alphabet/Google's life sciences division.
Thomson (Technicolor) in its cross-border acquisition of Canopus Co., Ltd.Represented Thomson (Technicolor) (NYSE: TMS) in its cross-border acquisition of Canopus Co., Ltd., a Japanese publicly traded company, through a private acquisition of one-third of the company's shares from its founder and his immediate family for cash and stock, and a simultaneous cash public tender offer for the remaining shares.
Thomson S.A. in its acquisition of Panasonic Disc Services Corp.Represented Thomson's subsidiary Technicolor in its acquisition of Panasonic Disc Services Corp. (PDSC), a subsidiary of Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., for approximately $500 million. Thomson S.A./Technicolor.
Thomson S.A. in its divestiture of Audiovox CorporationRepresented Thomson (NYSE: TMS) in the divestiture of its accessories business to Audiovox for approximately $90 million.
Thomson S.A. in its acquisition of GyrationRepresented Thomson (NYSE: TMS) in its acquisition of Gyration in a reverse triangular merger for approximately $20 million.
Thomson S.A. in its acquisition of ParkerVisionRepresented Thomson Broadcast & News Media Solutions, a subsidiary of French conglomerate and client Thomson S.A., in its approximately $14 million cash purchase of the video division of ParkerVision, a NASDAQ company based in Florida.
Thomson S.A. in its acquisition of Grundig (Digital Intermedia Systems ("DIS"))Represented Thomson (NYSE:TMS) in its acquisition of DIS, the U.K-based set-top business and set-top hardware and software development divisions, of German manufacturer Grundig.
VMware in its acquisition of AirWatchRepresented VMware in its $1.54 billion acquisition of AirWatch, a privately held mobile device management provider.
VMware in EMC’s acquisition by DellRepresented VMware in connection with Dell’s $67 billion acquisition of EMC, VMware’s parent company. VMware is the “crown jewel” in the transaction, and Dell will issue VMware tracking stock.
Vmware in its acquisition of VeloCloudRepresented VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) in its acquisition of cloud networking startup VeloCloud™ Networks, Inc.
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