Daniel Friedland and Richard Vernon Smith Discuss Representation of Yammer in its Sale to Microsoft


This article, about the sale of social media startup Yammer Inc. for $1.2 billion to Microsoft, extensively quotes emerging companies partner Daniel Friedland and M&A and private equity partner Richard Vernon Smith, who represented Yammer.

"Part of your job is actually to impart your expertise to [the client] so they are able to anticipate and help solve things, like making sure diligence is run as efficiently as possible and how you manage employees. There is also a great emphasis on speed," Smith said. "

"It was clear that from both sides the deal needed to get done quickly. When they make an offer like that, they're serious. ... And from Yammer's point of view, once you decide this is the strategic direction you want to go, you don't want it to linger out there as a deal that may or may not happen," Friedland said.

He added, “In addition, knowing a client company well means knowing which interests and priorities to protect. It's understanding what management and the board values, but also you need to know based on experience how they work, so you can protect them in areas they want protecting in, and not focus on issues you know they don't think are important."