On July 10, longtime Morrison & Foerster client SoftBank closed its $21.6 billion acquisition of a 78 percent stake in Sprint Nextel. MoFo acted as SoftBank's lead M&A, litigation and antitrust counsel in the deal. On July 9, Sprint Nextel closed its acquisition of Clearwire. MoFo also represented SoftBank in the Clearwire acquisition.
Throughout the merger process, MoFo helped SoftBank prevail over DISH Network, which had actively bid for both Sprint and Clearwire. This is the largest announced U.S. transaction of 2012 (with a $44.8 billion enterprise value), and the largest outbound investment in Japan's history. The Wall Street Journal called the deal, "one of the most complex and unusual deals in the annals of takeovers."
Ken Siegel, Tokyo managing partner; and Rob Townsend, co-chair of MoFo's Global M&A Group, led the cross-border deal team. In recognition of their roles on the SoftBank deal, The American Lawyer named them Dealmakers of the Week.
The team also included Tokyo partners Andrew Winden, Ivan Smallwood and Dale Caldwell; Singapore partner Eric Roose; San Francisco partners Jaclyn Liu, Michael O’Bryan, Brandon Parris and Bernie Pistillo; Palo Alto partners David Lipkin and Michael Frank; Washington, D.C. partners Jeff Jaeckel, David Meyer and Nicholas Spiliotes; Los Angeles partner Kathryn Johnstone; and New York partner Peter Dopsch.