Ropes & Gray Tops $25 Billion in Transactions in 2010

April 28, 2010

Ropes & Gray announced a significant  increase in deal activity in 2010, including transactions with a cumulative value of more than $25 billion.  In addition:

  • Ropes & Gray was honored by Asian Legal Business on April 16 for its role in the 2010 M&A Deal of the Year for China, GCL-Poly's $3.4 billion acquisition of Jiangsu Zhongneng. 
  • Ropes & Gray ranked second in deal volume and third in cumulative deal value on global buyouts in Q1 2010, according to mergermarket.
  • The firm ranked second in volume of U.S. buyouts; in the top 10 for the West Coast.
  • Ropes & Gray worked on one of the 10 largest U.S. M&A deals in Q1 2010, Merck KGaA's $6.76 billion acquisition of Millipore.
  • The firm represented TPG Capital and the CPP Investment Board in their $5.2 billion acquisition of IMS Health Inc., which closed in February 2010 and was the largest LBO since the market collapse in 2008.
  • In Japan, Ropes & Gray ranked among the leading firms on M&A transactions.
  • The firm's lawyers have been involved in the most significant PE deals of 2010: the $1.1 billion SkillSoft LBO; TPG Capital's bid for Extended Stay Hotels; and the proposed acquisition of the owner of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants by Thomas H. Lee Partners.

The uptick in the firm’s deal activity includes private equity transactions, an indication that an industry hit hard by the financial crisis and recession may be turning the corner.

"Although we have a long way to go to reach the height of the market in 2006-2007, private equity firms are beginning to compete for the most attractive companies," said Alfred O. Rose, head of the firm's private equity practice. "With the credit markets finally loosening their grip and healthy companies priced competitively, we expect more activity this year."

So far, there are encouraging signs:

  • Private equity buyout activity increased 10 percent compared to Q1 2009, according to mergermarket.
  • Private equity firms completed 300 investments in U.S. companies during the first quarter, the highest total since the fourth quarter of 2008 and slightly more than the 287 PE investments closed in 1Q 2009, according to PitchBook.

Ropes & Gray, annually ranked among the world's leading law firms for private equity and corporate transactions and with teams in the U.S., London, Hong Kong and Tokyo, advises private equity firms and their portfolio companies on a full range of issues they face at all stages of a business cycle – fund formation, buyouts, financings, tax, antitrust, intellectual property, restructuring and litigation.

This level of insight has translated into high-profile engagements for the firm. In 2009, Ropes & Gray advised on three of the largest leveraged acquisitions of the year – on three continents:  long-term client Bain Capital' s acquisition of Bellsystem24  in the largest buyout by a foreign private equity firm in Japan in nearly two years; the $5.2 billion acquisition by TPG Capital and the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board of IMS Health Inc., a leading provider of market intelligence to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries; and Liberty Global Inc.'s 2.6 billion Euro high yield offering to finance the acquisition of Unity Media, a German-based provider of broadband Internet, telephone and digital TV.