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Deal secured after horse trading

Companies: Seagate Technology, Veritas Software, Silver Lake PartnersDeal: synthetic spin-off and leveraged buy-outSize: $20 billion LBODate: November 1999-March 2000

Chuck Cory

Advisors: Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (Seagate), Credit Suisse First Boston (Veritas), Silver Lake (Goldman Sachs)

This deal stands as a classic example of how to execute a complex transaction to the near-benefit of all parties. Two companies, a new buy-out firm (Silver Lake), the three big tech banking rivals, who just also happen each to own a small stake in Silver Lake, and a major tax headache as a result of an earlier stock-for-acquisition deal, all had the potential to turn this deal into the biggest mess of the year. In the event, it was just the opposite.

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