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Dealwatch: Linklaters acts on Microsoft’s $2.5bn deal for Minecraft as the firm sees deal flurry

Linklaters’ Stockholm outpost closed two major deals last week being selected by Microsoft to handle its $2.5bn acquisition of Mojang, which was advised by Mannheimer Swartling, and TDC’s $2.2bn acquisition of Get AS.

Linklaters team on the Microsoft’s deal for Mojang, which makes Minecraft – the most popular online game on Microsoft console Xbox Live with over two billion hours played on Xbox 360 in the last two years – was led by Elisabet Lundgren, who heads Linklaters’ corporate TMT group in the Nordics.

Mojang, founded by 35-year old Swedish coding enthusiast Markus Persson, was advised by Mannheimer Swartling’s Stockholm-based corporate partner Adam Green, alongside with M&A partner Tom Wehtje.

Green told Legal Business: ‘Our M&A practice has won some wonderful mandates and had our strongest year since Lehman. Sweden has a very innovative tech space, right down to start-ups, and the legal market is still very dominated by the independent firms.’

The Magic Circle firm also acted for Quadrangle and Goldman Sachs on their sale of Get AS, a leading fibre-based entertainment and communications provider of video, broadband and voice over IP services in Norway, to TDC for an enterprise value of US$2.2bn.

Linklaters helped to execute more than $7bn worth of deals last week, largely spearheaded by its private equity group.

London-based private equity partner David Holdsworth, who last year led when TDR Capital acquired upmarket gym chain David Lloyd for nearly £800m, advised US computers systems provider Attachmate Group on a reverse takeover by the UK’s Micro Focus in a deal to form a company worth $2.35bn.

Micro Focus was advised by Travers Smith head of corporate Spencer Summerfield in what is one of that firm’s largest M&A advisory roles this calendar year.

Linklaters, which also acted for Attachmate Group’s four owners – Francisco Partners Funds, the Golden Gate Funds, the Thoma Bravo Funds and the Elliott Management Fund, isn’t renowned for its presence in the tech space but these two mandates come as part of a larger push that has been spearheaded by the firm’s private equity group.

Earlier this year Holdsworth led on Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten’s $900m purchase of chat application Viber and he secured Attachmate a break fee of around $11m should this latest deal fall through, a clause that hasn’t been permitted in the UK since 2011. The holding vehicle for the four owners of Attachmate, Wizard, will hold a 40% stake in the new enlarged company.