Willkie recently advised Morgan Stanley Investment Management Inc. as co-lead investor in connection with a complex transaction in which a group of nine investors acquired $350 million of Series B Preferred Stock of Better Place, LLC.Better Place, a start-up company and the world's leading electric vehicle (EV) services provider, aims to reduce global dependency on petroleum through the creation of a market-based transportation infrastructure that supports electric vehicles, relying on renewable energy from solar arrays and wind farms instead of oil.
The investment represented the second round of financing for Better Place, whose initial round of financing in 2008 raised $200 million. A January 25 New York Times article favorably described the transaction as an important step for Better Place and quoted Wall Street insiders as saying that the new financing validates Better Places' business goals. Morgan Stanley Investment Management is a global investment management firm that, together with its investment advisory affiliates, provides investment management services to governments, institutions, corporations and individuals worldwide, and has approximately $395 billion in assets under management or supervision as of December 31, 2009.
Morgan Stanley, Morgan Stanley Investment Management's parent company, is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services. The transaction was handled by partners Barry Barbash, Gordon Caplan and Rosalind Fahey Kruse, and associate Marc Ponchione.