Debevoise, Milbank Top Verizon's Record-Setting Bond Sale
It’s not often that Apple gets second place, but the technology giant’s $17 billion bond sale in April was outmatched this week by Verizon Communications, which set a new record with a $49 billion bond sale of its own.
Verizon will use proceeds from the sale to finance the company’s $130 billion acquisition of Verizon Wireless from joint venture partner Vodafone. That transaction, announced earlier this month, is poised to become the third-largest M&A deal in history, according to our previous reports.
Debevoise & Plimpton corporate partner Steven Slutzky, tax partner Peter Furci, finance partner Michael Diz, and corporate chair Jeffrey Rosen are advising Verizon on the debt offering, along with associates Erin Cleary, Morgan Hayes, Adam Kopald, Verity Van Tassel Richards, and Philip Voss.
Rosen, named a Dealmaker of the Year by The American Lawyer in 2009 for his work advising Verizon Wireless on its $28.1 billion buy of Alltel Corp., is leading a Debevoise team serving as debt finance and M&A counsel to Verizon as it seeks to take full control of Verizon Wireless from Vodafone.
The boards of both Verizon and Vodafone have approved the Verizon Wireless deal, and the sale of the company is expected to close by the first quarter of next year, pending the approval of shareholders and various regulatory bodies.
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy global securities partners Robert Mullen Jr. and Paul Denaro are advising underwriters on the Verizon bond sale led by Barclays, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley.
“We are extremely pleased to be advising a world-class group of institutions in bringing this historic offering to market,” Mullen said in a statement. “The unprecedented size of the issue demonstrates the enormous liquidity in the market. We anticipate more large M&A transactions and large corporate debt issuance in the months ahead.”
Other Milbank lawyers advising underwriters on Verizon’s big bond issuance include global securities partner Timothy Peterson, tax partner Andrew Walker, and associates John Ablan, Michael Lee, Lysondra Ludwig, and Megha Shah.
An SEC filing by Verizon states that Milbank has also represented the company and its various affiliates “in connection with matters unrelated to the offering of the securities.” Legal fees related to the offering are not yet available.
Verizon’s general counsel Randal Milch, who owned 45,124 shares of the company’s common stock as of August 31, has taken the lead in-house for the telecom giant as it taps into the debt market amid speculation that the Federal Reserve might increase interest rates after curtailing its bond-buying program.