Frank Quattrone has found himself in an enviable position -- the middle of a bidding war.
Technology advisory boutique Qatalyst Group, which Quattrone founded in San Francisco in March 2008, snagged a mandate from data-archiving company Data Domain Inc. in its proposed $1.5 billion acquisition by NetApp Inc., announced May 20. But on June 1, data storage systems leader EMC Corp. stepped in with an unsolicited $1.8 billion bid for Data Domain. On June 2, NetApp matched EMC's bid by offering $1.9 billion, net of the target's cash.
At press time, the heavily pursued target hadn't responded, but for former Credit Suisse First Boston tech banking star Quattrone, the potential 20% bump in Data Domain's price tag makes his job of sealing a sweet deal for his client's shareholders a bit easier.
Assisting Quattrone, who ultimately beat obstruction of justice charges related to legal battles over share allocations of initial public offerings during the tech boom, are Qatalyst co-founders Adrian Dollard, a former general counsel of Credit Suisse Group's technology group, and Jonathan Turner, the former head of Credit Suisse's Internet group.
NetApp is being advised by Goldman, Sachs & Co., which also has close ties to Data Domain. Ken Hirsch and Sam Britton are leading the team. Hirsch also led Data Domain's 2007 initial public offering, while Britton advised NetApp in 2004 on its $300 million purchase of Spinnaker Networks Inc. Goldman also led a $1.27 billion convertible debt offering for NetApp last year.
For legal advice, NetApp turned to Steve Bochner, Nate Gallon and Mike Ringler of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC. NetApp CEO Daniel Warmenhoven once served on the board of Brooktree Corp., a client of Bochner's, and NetApp general counsel Andrew Kryder also has worked with Bochner.
Data Domain retained Gordon K. Davidson, Dennis R. DeBroeck and R. Gregory Roussel at Fenwick & West LLP for outside counsel. The company tapped Robert Gunderson Jr. and David Kling of Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian LLP on its IPO.
No one was surprised by EMC's choice of legal advisers to prepare
its unsolicited attempt to break up NetApp's agreement to buy Data
Domain: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's Thomas Dougherty and Margaret Brown.
Dougherty landed the Massachusetts company as a client with his work on
a class action it was involved in, and Brown advised EMC on its 1999
purchase of Data General Corp. for $1.05 billion; its $635 million
purchase of VMware Inc. in 2003; and its $2.1 billion
acquisition of RSA Security Inc. in 2006, the company's largest deal so
far. Brown also led the Skadden team when EMC took VMware public two