Wilson Sonsini Rides High with Twitter, Other Tech IPOs
In August, Wilson Sonsini corporate partner Mark Fitzgerald handled the $117.6 million IPO for McLean, Virginia–based advertising technology company Cvent, whose cofounder and current executive vice president of sales and marketing is Charles Ghoorah, a former associate at a predecessor firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. Lawrence Samuelson serves as Cvent’s general counsel.
Cvent’s IPO generated $1 million in legal fees and expenses, according to an SEC filing that also notes Davis Polk capital markets cohead Richard Truesdell Jr.'s role advising underwriters led by Goldman and Morgan Stanley.
Davis Polk and Wilson Sonsini teamed up two years ago to advise on a $235 million IPO for Internet radio company Pandora Media, according to our previous reports. A team of lawyers from Davis Polk’s Silicon Valley office also advised Pandora last month on a $523 million follow-on stock offering as the Oakland-based company considers potential acquisitions. (Hedge fund Lone Pine Capital took a 5.3 percent stake in Pandora on Friday.)
Wilson Sonsini also handled LinkedIn’s $353 million IPO in 2011, and the firm reprised that role last month for the Mountain View, California–based business networking company's $1.2 billion stock sale.
While some observers fear that a prolonged U.S. government shutdown could dampen the sizzling IPO market, the effect on new listings sparked by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, which The Am Law Daily reported on earlier this year, and potential addendums to that legislation have others hoping the opposite occurs.
So far, there is little sign that the IPO flow is in danger of slowing.
The Empire State Realty Trust—a real estate investment trust whose properties include the world-famous Empire State Building—raised $930 million in an IPO this week that generated a whopping $33 million in legal fees.
On the horizon are another real estate–related IPO, the one for national commercial real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap. The company filed papers last month for a planned $104 million listing, retaining Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe corporate and capital markets partners John Seegal and Brett Cooper to advise on the offering, according to a copy of the company’s S-1.
Robert Kennis serves as managing director and general counsel of Calabasas, California–based Marcus & Millichap. Latham & Watkins public company practice cochair Steven Stokdyk is advising underwriters led by Citigroup and Goldman. Legal fees related to the future float are not yet available.
Global food and concession provider Aramark Holdings also filed an S-1 in September in which it hopes to raise more than $700 million through an IPO set for later this year. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett corporate partner Joseph Kaufman is advising the Philadelphia-based company, whose general counsel is Stephen Reynolds. A buyout group took Aramark private six years ago in an $8.3 billion deal.
Cahill Gordon & Reindel corporate partners Daniel Zubkoff, Douglas Horowitz, and Timothy Howell are representing underwriters led by Credit Suisse, Goldman, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley. Legal fees related to the IPO by Aramark are not yet available, although the company’s S-1 states that it paid $42,000 in legal fees for Goldman in connection with a tender offer earlier this year.
Also poised to plunge into the public markets is London-based King, a social gaming company behind the Candy Crush Saga, which is ridiculously popular on Facebook and has gone the Twitter route with a so-far secret filing for a future U.S. IPO. Robert Miller is King's chief legal officer, having moved into the post earlier this year after Marcus Whalen stepped down to launch his own legal consultancy.
Some of the other notable IPOs coming to market recently and their counsel of record include:
Burlington Holdings: It seems like only yesterday that our mother marched us to the mall for winter coat shopping at the nearest Burlington Coat Factory. We're buying our coats elsewhere these days, but the company’s Burlington, Vermont–based parent has raised $226.1 million via an IPO.
Kirkland & Ellis corporate partners Joshua Korff and Christopher Kitchen are advising Burlington Holdings on the offering, which has yielded $1.5 million in legal fees and expenses. The company’s S-1 filing states that an “investment partnership composed of [Kirkland] partners” as an “indirect equity interest” in Burlington.
Cahill executive committee member James Clark and corporate partner Corey Wright are representing underwriters on the IPO led by BoA/Merrill Lynch, Goldman, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo Securities. Burlington’s general counsel is Paul Tang.