Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is representing Yammer Inc., a leading provider of enterprise social networks, in its pending US$1.2 billion all cash acquisition by Microsoft. This is the second largest private startup company acquisition in the U.S. this year. The largest, Facebook’s pending acquisition of Instagram, was announced in April and Orrick serves as counsel to Instagram in that transaction.
“The Bay Area in general, and San Francisco in particular, have become a hotbed for social-media-related companies,” said M&A and corporate partner Richard Vernon Smith. “With so many start-ups vying for market space, it is increasingly important for young companies to select firms with established full service capabilities across a variety of practice areas. From corporate and M&A to IP, antitrust and tax, Orrick is uniquely positioned to advise private companies in every major industry. As to M&A, our experience in representing young private companies seeking an M&A exit is extensive.”
“We’re extremely proud to be a part of both Yammer’s and Instagram’s acquisitions — the only billion dollar startup exits this year,” said Emerging Companies Group partner Daniel Friedland. “When we started working with Yammer four years ago, we knew that the very talented founders had a great idea that could revolutionize enterprise social software. We are pleased that our Emerging Companies Practice Group at Orrick had the opportunity to assist Yammer on all of their legal needs throughout their tremendous growth."
Launched in 2008, Yammer now has more than 5 million corporate users, including employees at 85 percent of the Fortune 500. The service allows employees to join a secure, private social network for free and then makes it easy for companies to convert a grassroots movement into companywide strategic initiative.
The Orrick team included M&A and corporate partner Richard Smith, Emerging Companies Group and corporate partner Daniel Friedland, tax partners Steve Malvey and Eric Wall, compensation and benefits partner Nancy Chen, technology transactions partner Daniel Yost, antitrust partner Jay Jurata, antitrust of counsel Patricia Zeigler, corporate of counsel Libby Lefever, Emerging Companies Group and corporate partner Stephen Venuto, associates Anik Guha, Andrew Erskine, Kane Huang, Kim Loocke, Sanam Saaber and Michael Yang, and paralegal Jennifer Mar.