AT&T’s spin-off of WarnerMedia—the largest media and entertainment deal of 2021—has earned Eric Krautheimer, Melissa Sawyer and Isaac Wheeler the distinction of Dealmakers of the Year by The American Lawyer. In a Reverse Morris Trust transaction, WarnerMedia will be combined with Discovery as a standalone global entertainment company. This is the second time that Eric and Melissa have received this distinction, and the first time for Isaac.
To avoid leaks and other complications, the dealmakers negotiated this complex deal in just 14 days. Longtime client AT&T expects to use the proceeds to position the company as one of the best capitalized 5G and fiber broadband companies in the United States. S&C also advised AT&T in a $16.25 billion deal with TPG Capital to create a new DIRECTV and handled AT&T’s sale of its Vrio business.
In addition to Eric, Melissa and Isaac, Frank Aquila and Andrew Gerlach were also named Dealmakers of the Year for Canadian Pacific’s acquisition of Kansas City Southern. S&C lawyers have been named Dealmakers of the Year by The American Lawyer a total of 25 times in the last 24 years, the most of any law firm.