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Dealwatch: A&O wins place alongside Latham, Ropes and Sidley on Carlyle’s $8bn tech buyout

A raft of firms, including Allen & Overy (A&O), have landed roles on Carlyle Group’s $8bn purchase of software-storage company Veritas in what is the largest US technology leveraged buyout this year.

An investor group led by Carlyle, including Singapore’s GIC and others, will buy Veritas from owner Symantec. The $8bn cash deal is expected to net Symantec around $6.3bn and has been unanimously approved by its board of directors.

Carlyle used four law firms on the deal with A&O representing the private equity firm on matters outside of the US including closing the transaction in around 40 jurisdictions. The Magic Circle firm’s team was led by corporate partners Gillian Holgate and Karan Dinamani, who joined the firm last year from Ashurst following the defection of the City stalwart’s former global head of corporate, commercial and competition Stephen Lloyd. Other partners included Chris Harrison in tax, Mark Mansell in employment, Neil Bowden in pensions, Adam Cleal in real estate, Jim Ford for transitional services and commercial operations, and Bernardine Lam for Hong Kong/China-related advice.

A&O had previously worked for Carlyle on its $5bn disposal of its stake in China Pacific Insurance Group in 2013.

Partners Mark Plotkin and David Fagan at Covington & Burling advised on the buyout’s regulatory issues for Carlyle while a team at Latham & Watkins‘ Washington DC office also worked on deal that is expected to close by the end of the year. Latham’s team included corporate partners Patrick Shannon and Jason Licht, finance partners Jeffrey Chenard and Scott Forchheimer while antitrust was handled by partner Marc Williamson and tax by Cheryl Coe. Alston & Bird represented Carlyle on other aspects.

Co-investor GIC turned to a team from Ropes & Gray including private equity partner Anthony Norris and finance partner Stefanie Birkmann out of New York for M&A advice. Sidley Austin represented the sovereign wealth fund on US regulatory matters with Washington DC-based team inlcuding partners James Mendhenhall and Howard Stanislawski.

Baker & McKenzie and Fenwick & West acted for the seller, Symantec, while JP Morgan acted as financial adviser. On the other side, BofA Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and UBS Investment Bank were financial advisors to Carlyle and GIC.