Akin Gump Advises On Private Equity Deal Of The Year At The IFLR Asia Awards 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 09:25


Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has announced that a deal it handled was named the Private Equity Deal of the Year at the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) Asia Awards 2013 held in Hong Kong on February 28.

IFLR’s awards are the only awards internationally that recognize legal innovation in international finance.

Akin Gump acted for Trinity Opportunities Limited as an administrative agent in its provision of $275 million in new funding to Village Roadshow Entertainment Group in a six-year mezzanine debt and equity arrangement. The firm also acted for the equity investor syndicate. This is the first time that a transaction of this type has been structured and executed wholly within Asia. The financing gives Village Roadshow an important foothold in the U.S. movie industry, with many of its productions being distributed by Warner Bros.

The transaction brought together a core team of Akin Gump M&A/private equity and financing attorneys with the firm’s well-respected entertainment and media team in the United States.

Greg Puff, head of the firm’s Hong Kong office and Asia practice, commented, “We are absolutely delighted to have been involved in this award-winning deal in our first full year of operation in Hong Kong. It is one of a number of many highlight deals we have worked on, and it is a credit to the team that worked seamlessly across borders to get this done.”

Akin Gump’s team advising Trinity Opportunities Limited included partners Andrew Abernethy and Gregory Puff in Hong Kong; P. John Burke, Marissa Román Griffith and David Antheil in Los Angeles; William D. Morris in Houston; and Stephen M. Jordan and Zachary N. Wittenberg in New York.

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A jury verdict obtained by Akin Gump in a patent infringement case against client Janssen Biotech, Inc., was upheld on March 8 by a federal court in Massachusetts.

Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled in favor of Janssen (formerly Centocor Ortho Biotech, Inc.) in the suit, which was brought by Abbott Biotechnology Ltd. (now AbbVie Biotechnology Ltd.) and other related Abbott companies.

Abbott had alleged that Centocor’s Stelara drug, used to treat the effects of psoriasis, violated two Abbott patents. Following an 11-day trial in September 2012, a jury returned a verdict in favor of Janssen. Judge Saylor affirmed that verdict, denying all of Abbott’s post-trial motions, including motions for judgment as a matter of law on three grounds and motions for a new trial.

Had Abbott prevailed with its original infringement claim, the trial would have proceeded to a damages phase, in which Abbott had sought an award of hundreds of millions of dollars, with hundreds of millions of dollars of future damages also at stake.

The Akin Gump team representing Janssen was led by intellectual property partners Dianne Elderkin, Barbara Mullin and Steven Maslowski.

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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is pleased to announce the launch of its new Tax Equity Telegraph blog.

The blog is intended to address the intersection of tax policy and energy policy in the United States, a topic of particular interest to renewable energy developers seeking to raise tax equity and to the financial institutions and other corporations that provide it. The postings are also intended to be of interest to companies that purchase energy projects outright, partly to obtain the tax benefits, and to utilities that contract with renewable energy projects.

David Burton, a partner in Akin Gump’s tax practice, is the editor of Tax Equity Telegraph. Contributions come from the firm’s other tax lawyers who work closely with members of the global project finance practice.

To visit the blog, go to http://www.akingump.com/en/experience/practices/global-project-finance/tax-equity-telegraph/categories/tax-policy.html.