David Schnabel resigns from Debevoise & Plimpton’s tax team to join Davis Polk

 In Davis Polk, Debevoise

Davis Polk has announced that David Schnabel has joined the firm as a partner in New York. He was previously at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where he had been a partner since 2000.

Mr. Schnabel’s tax practice focuses on M&A transactions for private equity and corporate clients, as well as acquisition financing and private fund formation.

Mr. Schnabel is the former Chair of the Tax Section of the New York State Bar Association and former co-chair of the Investment Funds Committee, the Consolidated Returns Committee and the Partnership Committee; a member of the planning committee for the University of Chicago Law School Tax Conference; and a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.

“David is one of the premier tax lawyers in New York,” said Avishai Shachar, co-head of Davis Polk’s Tax Department. “We have known David for many years and he complements perfectly our talented bench of Davis Polk tax lawyers. His arrival will make our leading practice even stronger.”

“Davis Polk’s tax practice has a terrific reputation and is well-known for its sophisticated and innovative work,” said Mr. Schnabel. “The team’s collegiality, entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to clients make it the ideal environment to further develop my practice.”

A frequent speaker and author on the tax aspects of M&A and private equity, Mr. Schnabel is ranked as a leading corporate tax lawyer by Chambers USA (2013-2015), where clients call him “absolutely outstanding: levelheaded and extremely intelligent.” He is also recommended by The Legal 500 US (2011-2015), where he is noted as “one of the real experts in partnership tax – who can integrate technical tax answers with actionable and commercial solutions.”

Before joining Davis Polk, Mr. Schnabel’s representations included:

  • Amazon.com in its acquisition of Elemental Technologies, pioneers in software-defined video solutions for multiscreen content delivery
  • Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in the:
    • $910 million acquisition of Healogics, the largest advanced wound care services provider in the United States
    • $1.8 billion acquisition of Ashland Water Technologies
    • Acquisitions of Brand Energy and Harsco Infrastructure in a combined transaction valued at $2.5 billion
    • $1.5 billion acquisition of a majority ownership stake in WilsonArt International Holdings, the decorative surfaces unit of Illinois Tool Works
    • $3.2 billion acquisition of Emergency Medical Services Corporation
    • 46% investment in JohnsonDiversey, a transaction valued at $2.6 billion
    • Acquisition of PharMEDium, a provider of sterile compounding services to hospital pharmacies
    • $5.5 billion going-private acquisition of ServiceMaster
    • “Sponsored spinoff” investment in 47.5% of Sally Beauty, the beauty supplies business spun off by Alberto-Culver, valued at $3 billion
    • $4.3 billion sale of Diversey Holdings to Sealed Air
  • Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and GS Capital Partners in their acquisition of HGI Holdings, a distributor of medical products to chronic disease patients
  • Envision Healthcare in its $620 million acquisition of Rural/Metro Corporation
  • International Paper in the combination of its xpedx distribution solutions business with Unisource (a Bain portfolio company) in a “Reverse Morris Trust” transaction
  • Truck-Lite, a Kelso & Company portfolio company, in its sale to Koch Equity Development and BDT Capital Partners
  • ServiceMaster (a portfolio company of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice) in its spinoff of TruGreen
  • Morgan Stanley Private Equity in its acquisition of:
    • Access Cash, a Canadian independent service organization that manages the country’s second-largest network of automated teller machines
    • EmployBridge, a provider of outsourced human resource and specialty-branded temporary staffing services
  • AssuraMed, a Clayton, Dubilier & Rice portfolio company, in its $2 billion sale to Cardinal Health
  • EIG Global Energy Partners in:
  • Its sale of a minority interest to a sovereign wealth fund
  • The formation of EIG Energy Fund XVI, a $6 billion energy and energy-related infrastructure fund
  • Kelso & Company in its:
    • Acquisition of Nivel Holdings, a distributor of golf car aftermarket parts and accessories
    • Acquisition of Augusta Sportswear, a manufacturer of sports team uniforms
    • Acquisition of Logan’s Roadhouse, a casual dining restaurant chain, from an investor group led by Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co.
    • Investment in Wilton Re, a Bermuda-based life reinsurance company
  • PSAV, a Kelso & Company portfolio company, in its acquisition by affiliates of Goldman Sachs
  • Access Industries, as part of a consortium with Apollo Global Management and Riverstone Holdings, in its $7.15 billion acquisition of the oil and gas exploration and production assets of El Paso, which were sold in connection with Kinder Morgan’s $38 billion acquisition of El Paso. This transaction was named “Private Equity Deal of the Year” by International Financial Law Review.
  • Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in their $8.5 billion acquisition of HD Supply from The Home Depot
  • FLAG Capital Management in its acquisition of Squadron Capital, a Hong Kong-based private equity investment firm
  • OEP Capital Advisors in its spinout from JPMorgan Chase, formation of One Equity Partners Secondary Fund, a $1.5 billion U.S. private equity fund, investment management arrangements with JPMorgan Chase and certain related matters
  • Diamond Castle in the restructuring of, and secondary sale of interests in, Diamond Castle Partners IV. In the transaction, Goldman Sachs, Intermediate Capital Group and other syndicate investors committed capital to a newly formed Diamond Castle-managed fund that acquired most of the portfolio of Fund IV, and Fund IV limited partners elected either to participate in the longer term potential of the portfolio by rolling their interests into the new fund or to effectively sell their interests to the buying syndicate.
  • A consortium that includes CAI Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Kelso & Company and Vestar Capital Partners, in its $3.3 billion going-private acquisition of CCS Income Trust, a Canadian company providing waste management services to the oil industry
  • Ripplewood Holdings in its $3.4 billion acquisition of RSC Equipment Rental from Atlas Copco and in its purchase of a substantial interest in The Commercial Bank of Egypt
  • Warner Music Group in its $765 million acquisition of Parlophone Label Group from Universal Music Group
  • Reynolds Group (formerly known as Rank Group Holdings Limited) in its:
    • $4.5 billion acquisition of Graham Packaging Company
    • Acquisition of Dopaco, a food service packaging company
    • $3 billion acquisition of Reynolds Consumer Products and Closure Systems International
  • Access Industries in its $3.3 billion acquisition of Warner Music Group
  • Schneider Electric in its acquisition of:
    • Lee Technologies, a U.S.-based service provider specializing in large-scale data centers in the North American market
    • Summit Energy Services, a leader in outsourced energy procurement and sustainability services to industrial, commercial and institutional enterprises
  • The Rank Group in its:
    • $950 million acquisition of Honeywell’s automotive consumer products group
    • $2.7 billion purchase of Alcoa’s packaging and consumer businesses
  • Verizon Wireless in its $2.67 billion acquisition of Rural Cellular
  • The special committee of eSpeed in eSpeed’s $1.3 billion merger with BGC Partners
  • Energy Brands, also known as Glacéau, the maker of VitaminWater, in its $4.1 billion acquisition by The Coca-Cola Company.


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