Steve Lipin has gone from hack to flack in his career, as he says on his Twitter account, covering M&A for The Wall Street Journal in the late 1990s before moving to Brunswick Group in 2001 and launching his own firm, Gladstone Place Partners, in 2017.
Lipin says that part of his job is taking “an encyclopedic view of the press,” by tailoring pitches to reporters depending on their outlets, beats and interests. In situations such as Walt Disney Co.’s (DIS) purchase of 21st Century Fox, that means being aware of how the M&A, antitrust and business aspects of a story appear to various groups. Lipin advised DIsney there and is also counseling WeWork, which is the subject of books, podcasts and screenplays, forms that present their own challenges.
He also discusses his recent work for Anixter International Inc., which agreed to sell to Wesco International Inc. (WCC) for $4.5 billion after initially signing up a merger agreement with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Inc. that included a go-shop clause allowing the target to seek out a higher offer.
Over the last decade, Lipin has developed a passion for wine, in part, he says, because “I love how every bottle is a story. I love learning about different wines, different regions.” Introduced to natural wine when his daughter gave him a book by Alice Feiring, Lipin reels off a range of producers, from Bloomer Creek in the Finger Lakes to Channing Daughters on the North Fork of Long Island, Bethel Heights in Oregon and Château Landra in France’s Rhone Valley. He consumes those wines at his favorite haunts in New York, among them Anton’s, Atomix, Loring Place and Racines.