Skadden scores M&A triple with EA, Spotify, Sony Music deals

  • Firm helped guide at least three entertainment M&A deals in last week
  • Its combined M&A deal values more than twice than at this point last year

(Reuters) – Dealmakers at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom are keeping busy on the entertainment industry front, handling at least three notable acquisitions announced in the last week.

The firm is advising Electronic Arts Inc in its $1.4 billion cash acquisition of mobile game studio Playdemic Ltd from AT&T’s WarnerMedia, which the companies announced on Wednesday. AT&T turned to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher for the deal.

Skadden is also representing Spotify Technology SA in its purchase of podcast tech firm PODZ and Alamo Records in its sale to Sony Music Entertainment, both for undisclosed sums. The Sony Music deal was announced on Tuesday, while the Spotify transaction was announced last week.

Skadden has advised on 128 announced M&A deals totaling $256.5 billion this year, according to data from Refinitiv. The firm had a hand in 80 announced deals with a combined value of $98.2 billion during the same period last year, before the easing of pandemic lockdowns spurred an M&A resurgence.

The Skadden team guiding Electronic Arts is led by corporate partner Simon Toms in London and includes labor and employment law of counsel Helena Derbyshire and counsel Louise Batty; tax partners Alex Jupp and Nathan Giesselman; intellectual property counsel Eve-Christie Vermynck and antitrust partners Kenneth Schwartz and Ingrid Vandenborre and counsel Aurora Luoma. Toms represented EA in February in its $1.2 billion purchase of racing game-maker Codemasters.

The Gibson Dunn team guiding AT&T is led by partner Eduardo Gallardo in New York and partner Nicholas Tomlinson in London. Tax partner Benjamin Fryer, employment partner James Cox and IP partner Daniel Angel also assisted on the deal.

Gibson Dunn has been a go-to firm for major AT&T transactions, including the telecoms giant’s $85 billion merger with Time Warner Inc and its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV.

Details regarding legal representation for Sony Music and PODZ were not immediately available.

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Arriana Mclymore

Arriana McLymore reports on the business of law, including diversity in the profession, corporate practices, legal education and attorney career life cycles.

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Arriana Mclymore