Alison Ressler and Sarah Payne Named Am Law Dealmakers of the WeekMay 13, 2011
On May 13, Ms. Ressler and Ms. Payne were recently recognized by The American Lawyer as Dealmakers of the Week for their work on behalf of Skype Global and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners in Microsoft Corporation's $8.5 billion May 9 agreement to acquire Skype, the Internet voice and video chat service. The deal marks Microsoft's largest deal ever, according to Am Law. The publication also noted that the sale price represents a 39 percent premium over the value Skype placed on itself in an April regulatory filing and is more than double the IPO Skype was simultaneously planning.
As Am Law noted, S&C represented Silver Lake in its 2009 purchase of its controlling Skype stake for $1.9 billion, with Mr. Morrissey the Firm's relationship partner, and was hired as counsel for Skype's IPO. Ms. Ressler told Am Law that most critical to the Microsoft deal was obtaining a price that would convince the investors to move forward with a sale as opposed to launching the IPO. “Once an agreement was made on price, there needed to be a quick turnaround to put the actual contract in place,” the publication reported. “'Given the size of the deal and the complexity of the structure of Skype – a Luxembourg company – we had to mobilize a very large team in order to give Microsoft what it needed to determine that they were prepared to execute a contract and go forward on this basis [in a short amount of time],'” Ms. Ressler said.