Largest Cash Purchase Price in History for Private VC-Backed Company
A team of WilmerHale lawyers advised EqualLogic in connection with its proposed acquisition by Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) for approximately $1.4 billion in cash. According to data from Dow Jones VentureOne, this represents the largest cash purchase price ever paid for a private venture capital-backed company.
The acquisition came in the midst of EqualLogic's pending IPO, which had been led by David Westenberg and included Jason Kropp, Libby Black, Karen Abrams and Chris DelGiorno. For the M&A transaction, the IPO team was joined by M&A partners Jay Bothwick and Mike LaCascia with assistance from corporate lawyers Graham Robinson, Stacy Krause, Mike Penney and Robb D'Ambruoso; antitrust lawyers Jim Burling and Janet Ridge; tax lawyer Bill Caporizzo; and Jeff Johnson on licensing matters.
EqualLogic was formed in 2001 and initially was a client of the WilmerHale Venture Group—headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts—which devotes its entire practice to advising emerging companies.
EqualLogic, based in Nashua, New Hampshire, is a leading provider of high-performance iSCSI storage area network (SAN) solutions uniquely optimized for virtualization. In announcing the deal, Dell said the acquisition will strengthen Dell’s product and channel leadership in simplifying and virtualizing IT for customers globally. Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO, said “Our customers will be dealing with the largest increase in data we have seen in our history over the next few years. Leading the iSCSI revolution will help Dell accelerate IT simplification and virtualization and will drive the Dell value proposition into more areas of the enterprise storage business.”
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions and is expected to close late in the fourth quarter of Dell's fiscal year 2008 or early in the first quarter of fiscal 2009.