London: Global law firm Reed Smith has advised Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) on its acquisition of Metaswitch Networks, a leading provider of virtualised network software and voice, data and communications solutions for operators.
The acquisition of Metaswitch's portfolio of ultra-high-performance, cloud-native communications software will expand Microsoft's range of offerings available for the telecommunications industry.
The transaction involved an extremely demanding timeframe, progressing from the signing of heads of terms to transaction exchange within little over six weeks and all within 'lockdown'. It featured a number of significant challenges, for example Metaswitch's complex ownership structure, including over 800 shareholders and option-holders in numerous countries around the globe.
An additional challenge was presented by the fact that the transaction was undertaken entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic, when all of Reed Smith's 30 offices as well as those of the client and counterparties were in lockdown and every member of the transaction team was working remotely. This all required a very high level of coordination and project management, both between the Reed Smith team and with the client and their external accountants and other advisers.
The Reed Smith team was led by corporate partner Mike Young and counsel Stephen Mooney, and included tax partner Caspar Fox, labour and employment partner David Ashmore, entertainment and media partner Gregor Pryor, and IP, Tech, and Data partner Jonathan Radcliffe, all based in London.
Keith Dolliver, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft said "The Reed Smith team were critical partners for Microsoft in getting this important transaction across the finish line. They were thoughtful, practical problem-solvers and brought their usual deep expertise to the deal."
Mike Young added: "We are very pleased to have supported Microsoft in completing the deal within the required timeframe despite a number of complexities and the backdrop of a global health crisis."
The transaction closed on July 14, 2020.
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