add items to your
binder to email or
print all at once
Items In Binder
Site Lawyers

Robert I. Townsend III

Partner, Corporate

Robert I. Townsend, III is the Head of Cravath’s Mergers and Acquisitions practice for North America. His practice focuses primarily on all types of M&A transactions, corporate governance matters and activist defense. Mr. Townsend’s clients have included AmerisourceBergen, Anheuser‑Busch InBev, Brink’s, Brunswick, Cincinnati Bell, Conduent, Frontier Communications, J.D. Power, Johnson & Johnson, MacAndrews & Forbes, Martin Marietta Materials, Nestlé, Olin, OUTFRONT Media, Pinnacle Foods, Quest Diagnostics, Scientific Games, Stanley Black & Decker, Univision and US Foods.

Recent transactions include representing:

  • US Foods in its convertible preferred equity investment from KKR, its acquisition of Smart Foodservice and its acquisition of SGA Food Group;
  • Univision in its pending sale of a majority stake to Searchlight Capital and ForgeLight;
  • J.D. Power in its sale to Thoma Bravo;
  • Frontier Communications in its sale of operations in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington to WaveDivision Capital in partnership with Searchlight Capital Partners and its acquisition of certain businesses from Verizon;
  • Johnson & Johnson in Janssen Biotech’s acquisition of Bermekimab from XBiotech, its acquisition of Auris Health, its acquisition of Ci:z Holdings, the sale of its Advanced Sterilization Products business to Fortive, the sale of its LifeScan business to Platinum Equity, its acquisition of Actelion, the sale of its Codman Neurosurgery business to Integra LifeSciences, its acquisition of Abbott Medical Optics, its acquisition of Novira Therapeutics, the sale of its Cordis business to Cardinal Health, its acquisition of Alios BioPharma, the sale of its Ortho‑Clinical Diagnostics business to The Carlyle Group, its acquisitions of Synthes, Covagen, Crucell, Mentor Corporation, Omrix Biopharmaceuticals and Conor Medsystems, its acquisition of Pfizer’s consumer healthcare businesses, its takeover battle for Guidant and its acquisitions of ALZA and Scios;
  • Cincinnati Bell in its pending acquisition by Macquarie Infrastructure, its combination with Hawaiian Telcom, its acquisition of OnX Enterprise Solutions, the sale of its wireless spectrum licenses to Verizon, its acquisition of CyrusOne, the sale of its directory business and its acquisition of IXC;
  • Pinnacle Foods in its acquisition by Conagra Brands and its acquisition of Boulder Brands;
  • Scientific Games in its acquisition of Don Best Sports and its acquisition of Bally Technologies;
  • Stanley Black & Decker in its investment in MTD Products and its acquisitions of the Craftsman brand from Sears and the Tools business of Newell Brands;
  • Brunswick in the sale of its Fitness business to KPS Capital Partners, its acquisition of Power Products’ Global Marine & Mobile business and its interactions with Owl Creek Asset Management;
  • Conduent in the sale of its commercial vehicle operations business to Alinda Capital Partners and the sale of its U.S.‑based human resource consulting and actuarial business to H.I.G. Capital;
  • Martin Marietta in its acquisition of Bluegrass Materials;
  • Anheuser‑Busch InBev in its acquisition of SABMiller and an asset swap with Ambev in which AB InBev transferred SABMiller’s Panamanian business to Ambev and Ambev transferred its business in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador to AB InBev;
  • OUTFRONT Media in the sale of its Latin America business to JCDecaux Latin America / Corameq;
  • UTi Worldwide in its sale to DSV and its negotiations with its shareholder P2 Capital;
  • AmerisourceBergen in its acquisition of PharMEDium, its acquisition of MWI Veterinary Supply and its strategic relationship with Walgreens and Alliance Boots;
  • MarkWest in its merger with MPLX;
  • Olin in its Reverse Morris Trust acquisition of the chlorine value chain business of Dow Chemical and its cooperation agreement with Sachem Head Capital Management;
  • Lender Processing Services in its acquisition by Fidelity National Financial;
  • Arch Chemicals in its acquisition by Lonza;
  • Millipore in its acquisition by Merck;
  • Stanley Works in its acquisition of Black & Decker;
  • Pepsi Bottling Group in its acquisition by PepsiCo;
  • EMBARQ in its merger with CenturyTel;
  • Nestlé in the sale of its stake in Alcon to Novartis and its acquisition of Ralston Purina;
  • Sprint in its merger with Nextel;
  • Brink’s in its shareholder activism contests with Pirate Capital and MMI and its spin‑off of Brink’s Home Security;
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers in the sale of its consulting business to IBM; and
  • Clorox in its repurchase of shares from Henkel.

Mr. Townsend has been cited as one of the country’s leading practitioners in mergers and acquisitions for over a decade by, among others, Chambers USA, Chambers Global, The Legal 500 US, IFLR1000 and The Best Lawyers in America. In 2018, he was selected as a “Mergers & Acquisitions MVP” by Law360 and a Mergers & Acquisitions Trailblazer by The National Law Journal. Mr. Townsend has been consistently named a leading lawyer for his transactional work in the telecoms and broadcast industry by The Legal 500 US. He has also been recognized for his activism defense work and his transactional work in the technology industry by The Legal 500 US. Additionally, Mr. Townsend has been repeatedly named to Lawdragon’s list of the “500 Leading Lawyers in America.”

Mr. Townsend was born in New York, New York. He received an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1987 and a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1990, where he was Executive Editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Mr. Townsend joined Cravath in 1990 and was elected a partner in 1997.

Mr. Townsend is admitted only in New York.

+1 (212) 474-1964
+1 (212) 474-3700