From Verizon to Ferrari to Facebook: the incredible client list of Wall Street’s most secretive firm

caption
Herbert Allen Jr.
source
REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Some of the biggest names in tech, telecom, and the media industries have one thing in common.

A tiny financial advisory firm quietly advises them on deals behind the scenes: Allen & Co.

The firm advised Verizon on its $4.83 billion deal for Yahoo, which was announced on July 25.

In June, Allen & Co. was named an adviser to LinkedIn on its $26.2 billion sale to Microsoft.

Those are just the latest in a long line of landmark roles for the firm. It has previously worked on deals for the likes of Facebook, Google, and Ferrari.

The firm shuns the spotlight. It has no website (this one belongs to a different company), and employs fewer than 200 people.

Herbert Allen Jr. led the company for years and has a seat on the board of Coca-Cola. His son, Herb Allen III, who is now CEO at the firm, was named on Vanity Fair’s new establishment list in 2012.

Many of the deals the company works on are birthed during the firm’s secretive annual Sun Valley Conference, which is sometimes described as the “billionaire’s summer camp.” There, Hollywood celebrities mingle with CEOs like Bill Gates and Elon Musk.

Here is a list the firm’s best-known clients.

Data and numbers regarding deals and Allen & Co.’s clients are in part courtesy of Dealogic.

Disclosure: Allen & Co. was an early investor in Business Insider.


Ferrari

source
Reuters/Denis Balibouse

Sector: Auto

About: The initial public offering of luxury carmaker Ferrari was one of the most hyped deals of 2015.

The Italian supercar maker priced its IPO at $52 per share, with shares trading up at the open. Shares are trading at around $43 as of July 25.

Allen & Co. was a bookrunner 0n the deal.


LinkedIn

source
Tony Chung, LinkedIn

Sector: Technology

About: Microsoft announced in June that it would buy LinkedIn in a $26.2 billion megadeal.

LinkedIn hired two advisers: tech boutique firms Qatalyst Partners, based in San Francisco, and Allen & Co.


Time Warner Cable

source
Joshua Lott/Reuters

Sector: Telecom

About: Allen & Co. advised Time Warner Cable on its $80 billion merger with Charter Communications, which was announced in May 2015. The deal made the combined entity the second-largest cable provider in the US.


PayPal

source
Thomson Reuters

Sector: Technology

About: Allen & Co. advised on the separation of PayPal and eBay in July 2015 in a deal worth $49.2 billion.


Facebook

source
Thomson Reuters

Sector: Technology

About: Allen & Co. landed a role on Facebook’s giant IPO in 2012 in a deal that raised $16 billion on the Nasdaq.

The firm later worked on Facebook’s acquisition of popular instant-messaging platform WhatsApp for $21.9 billion in 2014.

The app now boasts 900 million active monthly users, while Facebook’s in-house app, Messenger, claims 600 million monthly users.


Twitter

source
Anthony Quintano/Flickr

Sector: Technology

About: Allen & Co. acted as an underwriter on Twitter’s IPO, which raised $2.1 billion in November 2013.


Google

source
Thomson Reuters

Sector: Technology

About: Allen & Co. was one of advisers on Google’s IPO in 2004. The sale priced at $85 a share and raised $1.67 billion – coming in below expectations at the time.


LinkedIn

source
Twin Design/Shuttershock

Sector: Technology

About: LinkedIn raised $352.8 million in a 2011 IPO, with Allen & Co. working on the deal.


Coca-Cola Co.

source
Flickr / Kassie Mary

Sector: Food and beverage

About: Allen & Co. advised Coca-Cola Co. on its $13.6 billion acquisition of bottling company Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. in February 2010.


Activision Blizzard

caption
A screenshot from Activision Blizzard’s popular “World of Warcraft.”
source
Blizzard

Sector: Telecom

About: Allen & Co. advised Activision Blizzard, a game-development company, on its $12.4 billion merger with Vivendi in 2007.

In 2013, Activision Blizzard bought about $8.2 billion worth of shares from Vivendi, with Allen & Co. again advising on the transaction.


JD.com

caption
Liu Qiangdong, CEO and founder of JD.com.
source
Thomson Reuters

Sector: Online retail

About: JD.com is a Chinese e-commerce website founded by Liu Qiangdong.

In May 2014, Allen & Co. acted as one of the joint bookrunners on its IPO on the Nasdaq, which raised $2.1 billion. At the time, it was the biggest Chinese IPO ever.


Groupon

source
Flickr / Groupon

Sector: Online retail

About: Allen & Co. acted as a joint bookrunner for the company in 2011 in a deal that raised $805 million on the Nasdaq.

Most recently, the company cut 10% of its workforce.


Workday

source
NYSE Euronext

Sector: Technology

About: Workday is a cloud-based-software company that creates payroll- and financial- management platforms for large companies. It went public in 2012, raising $733 million with the help of Allen & Co. as a bookrunner.

Allen & Co. in 2014 again jumped in to help the company through its follow-on offering, which raised $614 million.


Pure Storage Inc.

caption
Pure Storage CEO Scott Dietzen.
source
Pure Storage

Sector: Technology

About: A flash-storage provider, Pure Storage was one of the most watched IPOs of 2015 – but closed below its $17 per share IPO price.

Allen & Co. was a bookrunner on the offering.