Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom,
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges are
among the firms advising on a $1.6 billion deal in which a Chinese consortium
completed the acquisition of troubled
Japanese air-bag maker Takata Corp.
The deal utilitzed lawyers from around
the world, including teams from Chicago,
New York and Wilmington, Delaware,
in the United States; Hong Kong and
Tokyo in Asia; and Hamburg in Europe.
Michigan-based auto-parts maker Key
Safety Systems said April 11 it had secured
funding from parent Ningbo Joyson
Electronic Corp. and Hong Kong-based
private equity firm PAG to acquire most
of Takata’s assets and operations. The
Japanese company went bankrupt after
its faulty air bags were linked to deaths
and injuries in the United States and in
Skadden advised Key Safety Systems
and Joyson with a team led by corporate
restructuring partner Ron Meisler in
Chicago and mergers and acquisitions
partner Steven Daniels in Wilmington.
Paul Weiss Hong Kong partner
Jeanette Chan led a team representing PAG.
Weil New York-based restructuring
partners Marcia Goldstein and Ronit
Berkovich acted for Takata. Freshfields
Bruckhaus Deringer M&A partner
Jochen Ellrott and restructuring partner Lars Westpfahl in Hamburg also
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu also
served as counsel to Takata.
Following the deal’s closing, Key
Safety Systems will be rebranded as Joyson
Safety Systems and be based in Auburn
Hills, Michigan. The company said in
a statement that the deal has received
antitrust clearance and bankruptcy court
approvals. Shanghai-listed Joyson Electronic bought Key Safety Systems, a key
rival of Takata, in 2016 for $920 million.
NFL AGE BIAS SUIT
Nine former security representatives fired
by the National Football League claim
they were let go simply because they were
more than 60 years old, according to an
age discrimination suit filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District
of New York.
According to the complaint, the nine
plaintiffs are all physically and mentally fit
former law enforcement officers who had
served with the league for between 11 and
49 years. Five of the plaintiffs are in their
70s, while the other four are in their 60s.
Their duties, according to the complaint, were to conduct stadium inspections, prescription drug audits, background checks, and game day security
services for each of the 32 teams to
which they were assigned. The league
also keeps two unassigned representatives who primarily perform investigative
services and background checks for the
NFL as a whole.
Issues arose, according to the complaint, after the NFL hired Cathy Lanier,
the former Washington, D.C., chief of
police, as its new security chief in September 2016. The complaint claims
that Lanier had reportedly been “wildly
unpopular with the rank and file” of the
Metropolitan Police Department.
Upon her arrival, “rumors swirled”
that Lanier planned to fire security rep-
resentatives, “creating an atmosphere of
fear and foreboding,” which the com-
plaint alleges was intentional, as “intimi-
dation is Lanier’s ‘management’ style.”
In April 2017, Lanier alerted repre-
sentatives that the league was soliciting
requests for proposals to fill security
representative positions to help it move
“in a different direction,” according to
the complaint. All the plaintiffs said they
applied; none were interviewed by Lanier.
The plaintiffs claim the process was a
sham, designed as cover for Lanier’s true
intention to fire them because she had
determined they were too old.
The suit alleges that when Lanier
told the plaintiffs in July 2017 they were
being terminated, she stated it had nothing to do with performance. None of
those terminated were under 60 years
of age. All those that replaced them, the
plaintiffs claim, were anywhere from
10 to 25 years younger. The complaint
stated that Lanier’s then-director of
security, Michael Rahill, bore witness to
the alleged age discrimination.
Rahill allegedly entered Lanier’s
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