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Four firms steer Uber Freight's $2.25 bln Transplace buy

4 minute read

Cooley LLP offices in New York City. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

  • Cooley, Sullivan Cromwell are co-lead counsel for Uber
  • Kirkland advising TPG Capital, Transplace
  • Cleary Gotlieb is antitrust counsel for TPG Capital, Transplace

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(Reuters) - Cooley and Sullivan & Cromwell are taking the lead advising Uber Freight on its plans to pick up transportation logistics company Transplace for roughly $2.25 billion.

The Uber Technologies Inc trucking unit said on Thursday that it was purchasing Transplace from private equity firm TPG Capital in a deal that Uber said is “expected to accelerate Uber Freight's path to profitability,” according to a press release.

Cooley and Sullivan & Cromwell have teamed up as Uber’s co-lead counsel on the deal. Cooley has tapped repeat Uber adviser and mergers & acquisitions partner Ben Beerle.

Beerle was recently part of the team that supported Uber’s roughly $1.1 billion acquisition of online alcohol marketplace Drizly, according to a February firm press release.

Cooley has advised Uber on a myriad of deals, including its $8.1 billion initial public offering and Uber Freight on a $500 million investment that lifted its valuation to $3.3 billion in October. Kirkland said it guided private equity investor Greenbriar Equity Group on its role in the capital injection.

This time around, Kirkland is representing Transplace and TPG Capital, the private equity arm of alternative asset firm TPG. Kirkland’s team is led by corporate partners Maggie Flores and Michael Weisser; antitrust partners Matt Reilly and Stephanie Greco; capital markets partners Sharon Freiman and Sophia Hudson; and tax partners Jared Rusman and William Dong.

Weisser also worked on TPG Capital’s purchase of Transplace from transportation-focused Greenbriar Equity Group back in 2017, according to a firm press release.

Kirkland has advised regular client TPG and its affiliates on a variety of transactions, including fund formation and investments.

Another of TPG’s regular advisers, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, is serving as antitrust counsel on the Transplace sale. The firm’s team includes antitrust partners D. Bruce Hoffman, Kenneth Reinker and Christopher Cook.

Cleary Gottlieb has also counseled TPG on other transportation related deals. In June, the firm said it advised TPG’s global impact investing platform The Rise Fund on its purchase of electric vehicle charging enterprise The Electric Highway Company, according to a Cleary Gottlieb press release.

Uber’s financial adviser is Morgan Stanley & Co LLC, while Transplace and TPG’s are Goldman Sachs & Co LLC and Harris Williams.

Uber Freight connects truckers with shippers, acting as a middle-man in the long-haul trucking business. Transplace works with shipping brokers and carriers to manage supply chains and plan logistics, including cross-border shipments.

The companies’ deal announcement comes just three days after Cooley made headlines as one of the lead advisers on another multi-billion dollar transaction.

On Monday, Zoom Video Communications Inc said it was acquiring cloud-based call center operator Five9 with Cooley’s help. Latham & Watkins is guiding Five9.

Read more: Uber's trucking unit to buy logistics planner Transplace for $2.25 bln Uber Freight raises $500 mln, valuation rises to $3.3 billion Cooley, Latham take lead on Zoom's $14.7-bln Five9 deal

Sierra Jackson reports on legal matters in major mergers and acquisitions, including deal work, litigation and regulatory changes. Reach her at sierra.jackson@thomsonreuters.com

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