Michal Berkner leads cross-border mergers and acquisitions, including negotiated and unsolicited acquisitions and public and private transactions.

Bio

Michal Berkner leads cross-border mergers and acquisitions, including negotiated and unsolicited acquisitions and public and private transactions.

Her representative matters include advising:

  • ABH Holdings (the parent company of the Alfa-Bank group) in connection with:
    • its sale of shares in Alfa-Bank Ukraine to MSP Stiftung; and
    • its acquisition of Ukrsotsbank;
  • Goldman Sachs Group as financial advisor to Liberty Global in its £3.5 billion proposed acquisition of Cable & Wireless;
  • DSV A/S in its US$1.3 billion acquisition of UTi Worldwide Inc.;
  • one of the founding shareholders of 888 Holdings plc in its US$1.4 billion acquisition of bwin.party digital entertainment plc and proposed takeover by William Hill;
  • Nokia Corporation in its:
    • US$17 billion combination with Alcatel-Lucent;
    • joint venture with China Huaxin Telecommunications; and
    • acquisition of Panasonic System Networks Company Japan;
  • Gennadiy Bogolyubov in litigation in the High Court, arbitration and other commercial matters;
  • Goldman Sachs Group as financial advisor to Telefónica in its sale of a controlling stake in Telefonica Czech Republic to PPF Group for €2.467 billion;
  • Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR) in the US$56 billion sale of TNK-BP to Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft. AAR’s 50 percent stake in TNK-BP was sold for US$28 billion. The deal, which was the largest M&A transaction in 2012, brings to an end a joint venture between AAR and BP. She also helped AAR secure several victories in its dispute over BP’s attempt to form a US$16 billion strategic alliance with Rosneft;
  • DENTSPLY International Inc. in its US$1.8 billion acquisition of Astra Tech from AstraZeneca;
  • Nokia Siemens Networks in its acquisition of Motorola’s wireless network infrastructure assets for US$1.2 billion;
  • BHP Billiton in its US$150 billion proposed combination with Rio Tinto;
  • Basell Polyolefins in its US$22.2 billion acquisition of Lyondell Chemical Company; Fresenius in its acquisition of APP Pharmaceuticals for US$5.6 billion;
  • Samsonite in its US$1.7 billion sale to CVC Capital;
  • SCOR in its US$2.5 billion unsolicited takeover of Converium;
  • Arcelor in its US$33.8 billion merger with Mittal Steel, and its proposed merger with SeverStal;
  • JP Morgan, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch as financial advisors to Endesa in its €42 billion acquisition by Enel and Acciona;
  • Lazard as financial advisor and dealer manager in Sierra Wireless’ €218 million cash offer to acquire Wavecom;
  • Sonae and Sonaecom in their €11.1 billion unsolicited offer to acquire Portugal Telecom;
  • Time Warner and AOL in their US$900 million attempted takeover of TradeDoubler;
  • Danaher Corporation in its US$1 billion white knight cash tender offer for Leica Geosystems;
  • Nokia in its US$60 million acquisition of Loudeye Corp.;
  • Access Group in its €4.4 billion acquisition of Basell from BASF AG and the Royal Dutch/Shell Group;
  • Morgan Stanley as financial advisor to Equant in its sale to France Telecom for €1.23 billion;
  • Gold Fields Limited, the largest gold mining company in South Africa, in its successful defence against a hostile US$7 billion bid from Harmony Gold Mining Company;
  • Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Rothschild, the financial advisors to Aventis, in the US$68 billion acquisition of Aventis by Sanofi-Synthélabo;
  • Azurix Corporation in the sale of its British water supply utility Wessex Water to YTL Utilities, in a deal valued at US$1.7 billion;
  • J.P. Morgan plc as financial advisor to the board of 012 Smile.Communications in the US$1.8 billion agreement to purchase the controlling stake in Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corporation;
  • DSP Communications in its US$1.6 billion acquisition by Intel Corporation;
  • New Dimension Software in its US$675 million acquisition by BMC Software Inc.; and
  • Koor Industries in US$250 million acquisition of Tadiran — the first-ever dual U.S./Israeli tender offer.

Ms. Berkner is ranked as a leading individual in Chambers UK and is recognised as a “very talented lawyer” who is “very intelligent, tireless and very diligent” and displays “absolute devotion to the client and the deal.”

In 2017, Ms. Berkner was included in the Financial Times’ “HERoes” list as one of the top 50 female champions of women in business in the U.K. and Ireland.

In 2013, Ms. Berkner was selected as an “M&A Rising Star” by Law360. Chambers Global and Chambers UK recommend her as an individual with high-end capabilities.

Ms. Berkner founded the Skadden Women Attorneys Network (SWAN) in 2008. SWAN organises regular educational and networking events with senior women executives and counsel throughout Europe.

Ms. Berkner lectures and participates in seminars on topics related to her practice and has written and co-authored articles for, among other publications, the International Financial Law Review.

Credentials

Education

  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1997
  • B.A., Johns Hopkins University, 1994

Admissions

  • New York
  • Solicitor, England & Wales

Michal Berkner

Partner, Mergers and Acquisitions
michal.berkner@skadden.com