Are M&A biglaw hours better if you do private M&A as opposed

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Are M&A biglaw hours better if you do private M&A as opposed

Postby blueberry2 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:48 pm

to public M&A? What kind of in-house jobs are available if you do private M&A?

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Re: Are M&A biglaw hours better if you do private M&A as opposed

Postby desertlaw » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:40 pm

Private M&A is worse hours because private companies, frankly, aren't as organized as public companies for the most part. The capitalization, the organization of its material contracts, its history - all of these things are established in a public company due to filing/reporting regulations. Private companies are often family-run, not always as efficient/organized as a public company. If you want to know about the public company from a higher-level, you can read the filings. If you want to know about your private company, you have to rely on the client (or if you're on buy-side, on the opposing counsel). Everything material about the public company is filed. To even get a grasp on what is material with a private company, you have to rely on a lot of people/documents. Additionally, there are in-house people at the public company who help you. At a private company, there often isn't a lawyer in-house so it's even more difficult.

All of that means both diligence and the structure of the deal are going to usually be more complicated. Some of the smoothest deals that I've done were $2B mergers while the messiest are the $200-500M private deals. That means the hours/lifestyle is going to be different.

Granted, the day-to-day of a private M&A vs. public M&A isn't as big of a difference between Corp/Litigation. But there's still a difference and I think that private company work is more challenging/demanding for those reasons. That being said, private M&A it seems easier to build relationships during the deal with the founders of the company (which is cool to experience the biggest transaction in their life) and there's also more "creativity" in negotiating/structuring the deal that you may or may not find interesting.

EDIT regarding exit ops: Not sure that there are any different exit options in-house if you do private M&A, but perhaps a public company wouldn't hire you to be their SEC filing specialist. You could still get an in-house job doing M&A at a public company because they're often buying smaller private companies. But I don't think there's a big difference, assuming you are coming from the same firm.

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