White & Case won big at the 14th Annual M&A Advisor Awards, taking home four awards in all from the 2015 gala at the New York Athletic Club on November 17. Partners Oliver Brahmst and Morton Pierce both won "M&A Legal Advisor of the Year, Outside Counsel" awards in a tie. GDF Suez's sale of power assets in Latin America, for which Brahmst led the White & Case team, won "Cross-Border Deal of the Year (Over $500MM to $1B)," while GFI's sale to BCG Partners, which Pierce led, won "Corporate & Strategic Acquisition of the Year (Over $500MM to $1B)."
The gala honored professionals "whose activities set the standard for M&A transactions," according to M&A Advisor. This year, over 280 nominees, representing over 690 companies, became finalists for the awards. An independent judging committee of 25 top M&A industry experts determined the recipients.
Brahmst, who is the Firm's Co-Global Head of Private Equity, has built up a significant track record in the resolution of complex cross-border transactions, having worked on some of the most innovative and exciting deals of the last ten years, such as his representation of Pilot Travel Centers during their acquisition of Flying J's core travel plaza and truck stop businesses (honored by M&A Advisor in 2011 as a "deal of the decade"). Brahmst's team advised GDF Suez SA, a French multinational energy company, in the winning Cross-Border Deal of the Year: the US$840 million sale of power assets in Panama and Costa Rica to Celsia SA ESP, one of Colombia's largest power generators.
Pierce has more than 35 years of experience advising clients on mergers and acquisitions and related deals, and has been involved in numerous high-profile deals involving some of the world's best-known companies. His team represented the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of GFI Group Inc., the New York brokerage and clearing house, in the winning Corporate & Strategic Acquisition of the Year: successful completion of a tender offer by BGC Partners, Inc., a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets, for the outstanding shares of GFI, resulting in an equity value of approximately US$780 million and an enterprise value of US$1 billion. The transaction marks one of the most complex hostile M&A transactions to date.