FAIZA J. SAEED
Faiza J. Saeed is co-Head of Cravath’s Mergers and Acquisitions group. She advises public companies, boards of directors and special committees in connection with M&A, corporate governance and crisis management, including consensual and hostile transactions, leveraged buyouts, strategic investments, takeover defense, proxy contests and hedge fund activism. Her clients have included Bacardi, CSX, DreamWorks Animation, Hasbro, Kraft Foods, Moody’s, Morgan Stanley, Starbucks, Time Warner and Viacom.
Ms. Saeed was designated a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (Davos) in 2006. In 2007, The New York Times named her one of “Wall Street’s 100 Masters of the New Universe” and Crain’s New York Business one of the “100 Most Influential Women in NYC Business.” She has been recognized as a “Dealmaker of the Year” three times by The American Lawyer magazine, in 2000, 2005 and 2011, and also named to its list of “45 Under 45” in 2003. She is a recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession Award from Chambers and Partners (2010).
Ms. Saeed has extensive deal experience across many industry sectors, including significant depth in consumer, media and technology. She has led major cross-border deals in Canada, France, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and China. Notable matters include advising:
- The board of directors of Morgan Stanley during the financial crisis, including the $9 billion investment by Mitsubishi UFJ;
- Pentair in its $10 billion “reverse Morris Trust” merger with Tyco Flow;
- Williams in its $9.4 billion interloper bid for Southern Union;
- Terra Industries in its defense against a hostile bid from CF Industries (which was withdrawn), its $4.6 billion proposed sale to Yara and $5.2 billion topping bid by CF Industries;
- Starbucks in its acquisition of Teavana and its investment in Square;
- Kraft Foods in its $2.6 billion “reverse Morris Trust” divestiture of Post cereals to Ralcorp, and in its negotiations with Nelson Peltz;
- CSX in its proxy contest with TCI and 3G Capital;
- Time Warner in numerous matters, including its defense against Carl Icahn, its divestiture of Time Warner Telecom and its merger with AOL;
- Vivendi in its $46 billion merger with Seagram and in numerous follow on acquisitions and investments, including USA Networks, MP3.com, Houghton Mifflin and EchoStar;
- Lycos in its $12 billion merger with Telefonica’s Terra Networks;
- DreamWorks Animation in its $4.1 billion spin-off IPO, its acquisition of Classic Media and in the formation of Oriental DreamWorks with China Media Capital and Shanghai Media;
- DreamWorks SKG from its formation to its $1.6 billion sale to Paramount Pictures;
- Steven Spielberg in the formation of his studio with Reliance;
- The family of Charles Schulz in buying “Peanuts” from Scripps;
- Viacom in a joint venture with RealNetworks to create Rhapsody America, and in the acquisition by Rhapsody of Napster;
- Johnson & Johnson in its unsolicited $1.8 billion bid for Cordis;
- WuXi in its proposed $1.6 billion merger with Charles River;
- TKT in its contested $1.6 billion merger with Shire;
- Rexam in its $2.1 billion acquisition of American National Can; and
- White Mountains in its $1.4 billion acquisition of Safeco Life.
Ms. Saeed has been repeatedly recognized as one of the country’s leading practitioners in M&A and media and entertainment by Chambers USA, Chambers Global, The International Who’s Who of Merger & Acquisition Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, The Legal 500, IFLR1000 and Lawdragon magazine. She has also been profiled in The National Law Journal (“40 Under 40” (2005)), New York Magazine (2001), Corporate Board Member magazine (2002) and Dealmaker magazine (2008).
Ms. Saeed is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and she served on the Visiting Committee for Harvard Law School from 2006 to 2011. She speaks frequently on developments in M&A including as a guest lecturer at Harvard Law School and a panelist at Tulane University’s Corporate Law Institute, Penn State’s Institute on M&A and the International Bar Association’s International M&A Conference. She is a member of the Editorial Board of M&A Lawyer magazine. Ms. Saeed also serves on the Board of Directors of the March of Dimes (NY Chapter).
Ms. Saeed was born in Walnut Creek, California. She received a B.A. in Economics and Molecular Biology with Highest Distinction from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1991. She joined Cravath in 1991 and was elected a partner in 1998.