Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has advised Google on a $1.1 billion deal with Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC – represented by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher – to purchase the division that helped develop the U.S. tech giant’s Pixel smartphone.
Taiwanese firms Lee & Li and Tsar & Tsai were also involved in the acquisition, acting as local counsel for Google and HTC, respectively. Slaughter and May advised Google on the competition law aspects of the deal.
The all-cash transaction, which is expected to close in early next year, will see Google gain 2,000 HTC employees – roughly equivalent to one fifth of the Taoyuan-headquartered firm’s total workforce, according to Reuters. Google will also secure a non-exclusive license for HTC’s intellectual property, and the two firms agreed to look at other areas of collaboration in the future.
This will be Google’s second major foray into phone hardware after a previous costly failure. In 2012, Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion but sold it off to Lenovo Group just two years later for less than $3 billion.
For HTC, whose market share of smartphones globally has been declining since 2011, the deal will allow it to concentrate more on its virtual reality headsets while also reducing development costs, reported Reuters.
Partners Glenn McGrory, Ethan Klingsberg, Aaron Meyers, Michael Albano, Daniel Ilan, Corey Goodman and Francisco Enrique González-Díaz handled the deal for Cleary.
Natalie Yeung led the Slaughters team on the competition law aspects.