Edward J. Lee
Edward J. Lee is a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Ed’s practice focuses on both friendly and hostile mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and complex capital markets transactions. Ed has significant experience in both cross-border and domestic transactions, as well as spin-offs and carve-outs, joint ventures, LBOs, and initial public and other securities offerings. He also frequently advises companies and their boards of directors on takeover defense and shareholder activism situations. He has advised a broad range of public and private clients across many industries, including aerospace, technology and digital, pharmaceutical, automotive, telecom, industrial, media and advertising, energy, private equity, and financial institutions.
Significant transactions include, among others:
- Publicis Groupe S.A. in its $4.4 billion acquisition of Alliance Data Systems’ Epsilon business
- Expedia Group in its all stock acquisition of Liberty Expedia Holdings
- Celgene Corporation in its $98 billion acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb
- United Technologies in its pending separation into three independent public companies.
- Michael Kors Holdings Limited in its €1.83 billion acquisition of Gianni Versace S.p.A.
- Frutarom Industries Ltd. in its $7.1 billion sale to International Flavors & Fragrances
- Salesforce in its $6.5 billion acquisition of MuleSoft
- United Technologies in its $30.3 billion acquisition of Rockwell Collins
- Mondelēz International in its acquisition of Tate’s Bake Shop
- United Technologies in the $1 billion sale of its Taylor Company business to The Middleby Corporation
- Colgate-Palmolive Company in its acquisitions of the EltaMD skin care brand and of the PCA Skin brand
- Prysmian Group in its $3 billion acquisition of General Cable
- Harman International Industries in its $8.8 billion acquisition by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
- Regency Centers in its $15.6 billion merger with Equity One
- FMC Corporation in the acquisition of a significant portion of DuPont’s crop protection business and simultaneous sale to DuPont of FMC’s Health and Nutrition business
- The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son in its $250 million initial public offering
- Verizon Communications in its $4.83 billion acquisition of Yahoo!’s operating business
- Riverstone in its $5.2 billion acquisition of Talen Energy
- United Technologies in its $9 billion sale of Sikorsky Aircraft to Lockheed Martin
- Samsung C&T in connection with its announced merger with Cheil Industries
- Warburg Pincus and The Carlyle Group in their acquisition of DBRS Holdings Limited
- Publicis Groupe S.A. in its $3.7 billion acquisition of Sapient Corporation
- Tim Hortons Inc. in its $12.2 billion combination with Burger King Worldwide, Inc.
- Walgreens in its $27 billion two-staged acquisition of Alliance Boots GmbH
- Publicis Groupe S.A. in its $35.1 billion agreed combination with Omnicom
- The Wertheimer family and IMC International Metalworking Companies B.V. in Berkshire Hathaway’s $2.05 billion purchase from the Wertheimer family of the 20% stake in IMC it did not already own
- Thermo Fisher Scientific in its $13.6 billion acquisition of Life Technologies Corporation
- Walgreens in establishing a long-term partnership with AmerisourceBergen, including a 10-year distribution agreement, a global joint procurement agreement, and the right of Walgreens to acquire an equity interest in AmerisourceBergen through open market purchases and warrants
- SCBT Financial Corporation in its $300 million merger with First Financial Holdings and prior merger with Peoples Bancorporation, Inc.
- Goodrich Corporation in the sale of its pump and engine control systems business to the Triumph Group, and the sale of its electric power systems business to Safran S.A.
- Walgreens in its acquisition of a 45% stake in Alliance Boots GmbH and option to acquire the remaining 55% of Alliance Boots, valued at $27 billion
- Pacific Capital Bancorp in its $1.5 billion acquisition by UnionBanCal Corporation/The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
- United Technologies in its $18.4 billion acquisition of Goodrich Corporation
- Warburg Pincus in its acquisition of The Mutual Fund Store
- Goldman Sachs, Highstar Capital, The Carlyle Group and Riverstone Holdings in connection with their investments in Kinder Morgan, Inc. and Kinder Morgan’s $3.2 billion initial public offering
- Thermo Fisher Scientific in its $2.1 billion acquisition of Dionex
- Novartis AG in its acquisition of a majority stake in Alcon from Nestlé, and of Alcon’s public minority shares, in a transaction valued at $49.7 billion
Ed has also represented issuers in connection with many securities offerings and other capital raising transactions, totaling over $60 billion.
Ed received a B.S. from Cornell University and a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School.
In each of 2015-2018, Ed has been named a “Rising Star” by Expert Guides in the Corporate / M&A category. IFLR1000 has recognized Ed as a leading lawyer and as “highly regarded” within the M&A practice. Recently, Ed was one of only six mergers and acquisitions lawyers recognized by Law360 as Rising Stars under 40. Ed is a frequent speaker on M&A and shareholder activism, including co chairing PLI’s Shareholder Activism conference in 2018.
Ed is actively involved in city and national civic and professional organizations. He is a David Rockefeller Fellow, Class of 2017-2018, and a member of the Legal Advisory Group for the Partnership for New York City’s Innovation Council. Ed is also currently a member of the Council of Korean Americans, Co-Chair of the Corporate Law Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York, and a member of the Board of Governors of the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York. Ed serves on the Board of Directors of Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology Alumni Association.
Ed lives in Manhattan with his wife, son and daughter.
- Cross Border M&A - 2019 Checklist for Successful Acquisitions in the United States,
in Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, January 30, 2019.
- Cross-Border M&A -- 2018 Checklist for Successful Acquisitions in the United States,
in Columbia Law School’s Blog on Corporations and the Capital Markets, January 10, 2018.
- Deal Activism,
in Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, October 27, 2015.
- Proposed Amendments to Delaware Law Would Facilitate Tender Offer Structures,
in The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, April 4, 2013.