When we read The New York Times “tick tock” of the Comcast purchase of a majority stake in NBC Universal yesterday, it seemed odd no attorneys or law firms were featured in the timeline.
No deal gets too far without serious consultation with counsel.
Outside counsel for the deal included 79 attorneys between the companies, The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Corkery said reported.
Davis Polk advised Comcast with a huge team of 38 attorneys, including, the WSJ Law Blog said, corporate partners David Caplan, William Aaronson and Marc Williams. Caplan told the WSJ that Comcast’s bid for NBC was a “hugely complicated joint venture.”
Weil, Gotschal represented GE and NBC, with approximately 30 lawyers on the deal. Mergers and acquisitions partners Howard Chatzinoff and R. Jay Tabor took the lead.
Vivendi sold its 20% stake in NBC Universal to GE; 10 attorneys from Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher advised Vivendi. Caplan told the WSJ that that part of deal was relatively straightforward, in that involved a minority investor selling its stake to the majority investor. Corporate partner Ruth Fischer lead the team at Gibson.
The Law Blog’s Ashby Jones has a full list of the partners involved and also poses what we think is one of the most important questions related to this purchase. How will Jack Donaghy deal with it in his (fictional) 30 Rock office?
While the news of this monster media deal has finally been confirmed, the impending regulatory review means it is far from over. Davis Polk’s Arthur Burke and Ronan Harty were the antitrust partners working on the deal for Comcast. Their jobs are likely just beginning.
Behind every scandal is a lawyer doing clean-up and behind every deal is a lawyer, or army of them, drafting the documents.
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