Four firms prep Dorsey-led payment biz Square’s $29-bln Afterpay buy

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The logo for the Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz law firm at their office in New York, U.S. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's Square buys Afterpay
  • Square repped by repeat adviser Wachtell Lipton and King & Wood Mallesons
  • Australian firm Gilbert + Tobin and Cravath guide Afterpay

(Reuters) - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Cravath, Swaine & Moore are among four law firms guiding Square Inc’s roughly $29 billion purchase of payment plan business Afterpay Ltd, in the biggest buyout of an Australian firm.

San Francisco-headquartered Square, founded and headed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Afterpay said in a joint press release on Sunday that the acquisition will expand offerings for Square’s payment applications, Cash App.

Square has tapped Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and King & Wood Mallesons for guidance on the deal.

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Wachtell Lipton previously worked on Square’s 2015 initial public offering alongside Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and underwriters’ counsel Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Melbourne, Australia-based Afterpay is relying on co-lead counsel Australian firm Gilbert + Tobin and Cravath, Swaine & Moore for legal advice.

The Cravath team is led by corporate partners Damien Zoubek and Jenny Hochenberg and includes corporate partner David Portilla advising on bank regulatory matters.

Zoubek and Jenny Hochenberg were both part of the team that steered Johnson & Johnson on its roughly $6.5 billion acquisition of autoimmune specialist Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc last year.

Portilla, a former U.S. Department of the Treasury official, joined the firm from Debevoise & Plimpton earlier this year, marking the first time in at least a decade that Cravath swiped a partner from a rival law firm.

The Gilbert + Tobin attorneys counseling Afterpay are led by mergers & acquisitions partners Peter Cook and Rachael Bassil. The team includes competition and regulatory partner Charles Coorey.

Square’s financial adviser is Morgan Stanley & Co LLC. Goldman Sachs and Qatalyst Partners are Afterpay’s financial advisers, while Highbury Partnership advises the company’s board.

Square’s acquisition of Afterpay is expected to be wrapped up in 2022’s first quarter.

Created in 2014, Afterpay allows users to pay for products in a series of installments over six weeks. Square said on Sunday it plans to integrate the service with its Cash App business, which helps users send digital payments to each other.

Read more:

Twitter's Dorsey leads $29 billion buyout of lending pioneer Afterpay

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Cravath plucks ex-Treasury official from Debevoise, ending long lateral lull

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Sierra Jackson reports on legal matters in major mergers and acquisitions, including deal work, litigation and regulatory changes.