William D. Regner is Deputy Chair of the firm’s Corporate Department and a member of the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions, Technology, Media & Telecommunications, Financial Institutions and Corporate Governance Groups. He focuses on public company transactions and corporate governance matters and advises boards, special committees and senior management on governance issues, including activist challenges and risk management.
He has experience across many industries, but is particularly active in the TMT and asset management sectors. He also regularly represents investment banking firms in their roles as financial advisors in major transactions. Mr. Regner was recognized as a “Client Service All-Star” by BTI Consulting in 2018.
Mr. Regner is ranked as a leading M&A lawyer by Chambers USA (2018), where sources say he “has the knowledge and experience, but his approach is pragmatic, commercial and practical” and that he has “outstanding technical knowledge and commercial awareness” and “comes up with creative solutions.” Clients highlight his “excellent commercial judgment and good commercial sense” and say that he “really commands a room but is also a very good listener,” and he is also praised for his “superb negotiating and drafting” skills.
Clients describe his approach as “commercial and practical” and note that he has “outstanding technical knowledge and commercial awareness.” He is recommended by The Legal 500 US (2018) which calls him “thoughtful, smart and savvy” and lauds his delivery of “high-value and to-the-point advice.” He is also recognized by IFLR1000 (2019) as a leading M&A lawyer.
Mr. Regner is a frequent speaker on legal developments affecting mergers and acquisitions. Recent engagements include “Advising the Board of Directors in an M&A Transaction: An Overview of the Board’s Responsibilities” (2018) at the Practising Law Institute’s Mergers & Acquisitions 2018: Advanced Trends and Developments conference, “Bank M&A Mechanics and Regulatory Issues” at FIRMA’s Current Risk Issues seminar (2017) and “The Deal: A View of Delaware Law Developments from M&A Practitioners” at the Practising Law Institute’s Delaware Law Developments 2017: What All Business Lawyers Need to Know seminar (2017). Mr. Regner also moderated a discussion on “Disclosure Matters and Other SEC Considerations in M&A” for Practising Law Institute’s Mergers & Acquisitions 2017: Advanced Trends and Developments event (2017).
Mr. Regner is the co-author of Takeovers: A Strategic Guide to Mergers & Acquisitions (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business 2013) and is a contributor to Corporate Governance: Law and Practice(Matthew Bender 2013). His published articles include “Appraisal Rights: Navigating the Maze After DFC Global, Dell, and Aruba” for the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (2018), “US And UK Share Purchase Agreements: Comparing Approaches,” Practical Law (January 2015) and “How Sell-Side Advisors Can Reduce Litigation Risk in Light of Delaware’s Rural/Metro Decision,” Journal of Investment Compliance, Volume 15 Issue 2 (August 2014). He is also a contributing author of The Private Equity Primer: The Best of the Debevoise & Plimpton Private Equity Report and the Debevoise & Plimpton Private Equity Report.
Mr. Regner joined Debevoise as an associate in 1994 and became a partner in 2002. Mr. Regner received his A.B. from Colgate University in 1988 and his J.D. summa cum laude from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 1994, where he was articles editor of the Cardozo Law Review.
- EIG Global Energy Partners in the formation of a joint venture with FS Investments to manage the $4 billion FS Energy and Power Fund.
- Time Inc. in its $2.8 billion sale to Meredith.
- OppenheimerFunds in a joint venture with The Carlyle Group, which will provide global private credit opportunities for the wealth market.
- Special Committee of the Board of Directors of BGC Partners in BGC Partners’ acquisition of Berkeley Point Financial, a leading commercial real estate finance company.
- Evercore Partners as financial advisor to the Special Committee of Fortress Investment Group in Fortress Investment’s $3.3 billion acquisition by SoftBank.
- PJT Partners as financial advisor to WestRock in its $2.28 billion acquisition of Multi Packaging Solutions.
- New York Life Investments in its acquisition of a majority interest in Credit Value Partners, a distressed and high-yield debt investment management business.
- HarbourVest Partners in its acquisition from Bank of America of the BAML Capital Access Funds group, a private equity fund-of-funds manager focused on opportunities with emerging managers, diverse managers, the lower middle market and other underserved markets.
- Guardian Life in its sale of RS Investments to Victory Capital.
- Twitch Interactive in its acquisition of Curse, a leading global multimedia and technology company focused on creating content and products specifically for gamers.
- Guardian Life in the acquisition by its subsidiary, Reed Group, of the absence management administration business of Aon Hewitt.
- Activision Blizzard in its $5.9 billion acquisition of King Digital Entertainment.
- Evercore Partners as financial advisor to Tokio Marine in its $7.5 billion acquisition of HCC Insurance.
- J.P. Morgan Securities as financial advisor to OmniVision Technologies in its $1.9 billion sale to a consortium composed of Hua Capital Management, CITIC Capital, and GoldStone Investment.
- The Dolan family, controlling stockholders of Cablevision Systems Corporation, in Cablevision’s $17.7 billion sale to Altice.
- StanCorp Financial Group in its $5 billion sale to Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company.
- Guardian Life in the sale of its majority ownership in eMoney Advisor, a leading wealth planning software company, to Fidelity Investments.
- New York Life Investments in its acquisition of IndexIQ, a leader in the liquid alternative exchange-traded fund industry.
- Kelso & Company in its acquisition with Estancia Capital Management of American Beacon.
- TIAA-CREF in its $6.25 billion acquisition of Nuveen Investments, a diversified investment management company with $221 billion in assets under management.
- The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Dell in the $24.9 billion sale of Dell to an investor group including Michael Dell and Silver Lake.
- Rothschild Asset Management, the U.S. asset management business of the Rothschild Group, in the establishment of Rothschild Larch Lane Management Company, a registered fund of hedge funds with Larch Lane Advisors.
- New York Life Investments in its €380 million acquisition of Dexia Asset Management.
FLAG Capital Management in its acquisition of Squadron Capital, a Hong Kong-based private equity investment firm.
- International Paper in its $4.3 billion acquisition of Temple-Inland.
- Providence Equity Partners in its $1.9 billion going private acquisition of SRA International, a provider of technology and strategic consulting services.
- Alibaba in its sale of a $1.6 billion stake to a consortium of investors including Silver Lake Technology Management, Digital Sky Technologies, Temasek Holdings and Yunfeng Capital.
- Access Industries in its $3.3 billion acquisition of Warner Music Group.
- Hertz Global Holdings in its $2.3 billion acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.
- New York Life Investments in its acquisition of a majority interest in Private Advisors, a manager of private equity and hedge funds of funds with $3.9 billion in assets under management.
- American International Group in the sale of its investment advisory and asset management business to Pacific Century Group.
- BM&F Bovespa in its $620 million investment in and joint venture with CME Group to form Global Preferred Strategic Partners.
- Verizon Wireless in its $2.35 billion sale of wireless assets to AT&T and $240 million acquisition of wireless assets from AT&T.
- The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of eSpeed in eSpeed’s $1.3 billion merger with BGC Partners.
- Verizon Wireless in its acquisition of Alltel Corporation, a transaction valued at $28.1 billion, and in its $2.67 billion acquisition of Rural Cellular.
- Icahn Enterprises Audit and Special Committees in numerous assignments, including in the company’s $863 million acquisition of a majority interest in Federal-Mogul Corporation, in the company’s acquisition of the Icahn hedge fund business, a group of private investment funds managed by Carl Icahn with committed capital of $7 billion, and in the company’s $652 million acquisition of oil and gas and gaming and entertainment assets from affiliates of Mr. Icahn.
- International Paper in its $6 billion acquisition of Weyerhaeuser’s packaging business.
- Yeshiva University, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, 1994, J.D.
- Colgate University, 1988, A.B.
- New York
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