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Law firm quintet powers MKS bid to boost semiconductor business

3 minute read

Signage is seen outside of the law firm DLA Piper in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

  • DLA Piper, WilmerHale, Carey Olsen represent MKS Instruments
  • Latham, Ogier advising Atotech
  • Paul Hastings tapped by $5.1 billion deal's financers

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(Reuters) - Five law firms, including DLA Piper and Latham & Watkins, are guiding semiconductor equipment maker MKS Instruments Inc’s $5.1 billion deal to acquire specialty chemicals group Atotech Ltd.

Andover, Massachusetts-based MKS inked the deal, announced on Thursday, to snap up Atotech as the chip industry faces a global shortage of semiconductors that has shuttered some auto production lines and caused ripple effects in other areas, such as consumer electronics.

Atotech makes chemicals and equipment for printed circuit boards and semiconductors that are used in smartphones, appliances and heavy machinery.

MKS has tapped a DLA Piper cross-border team led by corporate partners Jonathan Klein, Tim Lake and Jonathan Earle for the transaction.

Several other firms are working with MKS on other matters related to the deal.

Repeat adviser Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr is advising MKS on financing matters with a team including Hal Leibowitz, a co-chair of the firm’s mergers and acquisitions practice; corporate partner Rosemary Reilly, and Justin Ochs, co-chair of the corporate practice group.

WilmerHale has advised MKS on several acquisitions, including its purchase of productivity technology company Electro Scientific Industries Inc in a roughly $1 billion deal in 2018, according to a firm press release.

Offshore law firm Carey Olsen is also counseling MKS on matters of Jersey law.

On the other side of the deal, Atotech has paired up with a Latham cross-border team led by corporate partners David Dantzic and Richard Butterwick.

Latham previously advised the company on its February initial public offering, alongside underwriters’ counsel Milbank, according to regulatory filings.

Atotech has also turned to Ogier for advice on Jersey law.

MKS’s financial adviser is Perella Weinberg Partners, and Atotech’s is Credit Suisse.

J.P. Morgan and Barclays Bank PLC provided financing for the transaction. They’re being represented by a Paul Hastings team led by finance partner John Cobb and including partners Randal Palach, Luke McDougall, and Edward Holmes; and of counsel Seth Chandler.

The deal, expected to close by the fourth quarter of this year, will expand MKS’ offerings in chip manufacturing through the addition of Atotech’s plating chemicals.

Read more: MKS Instruments to buy Atotech for $5.1 billion to expand chip manufacturing offerings

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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