Press Release

Kirkland & Ellis Represents General Motors in Sale of Hughes Electronics Stake to News Corporation

The law firm of Kirkland & Ellis represented General Motors Corporation in one of the biggest deals of the year, the sale of a 34% interest in Hughes Electronics Corporation and its DIRECTV satellite business to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

The $6.6 billion deal was announced late last week and is still subject to various regulatory and shareholder approvals.

Kirkland & Ellis partners Scott Falk and Jeffrey Sheffield provided corporate and tax counseling to GM in a series of negotiations that took place over a three year period, culminating in the transaction with News Corporation.

DIRECTV is the nation's largest satellite operator with 11 million subscribers.  The News Corporation, which owns the Fox television network and scores of local affiliates, also creates and distributes television programs.  With the purchase of DIRECTV, the company will now have a direct outlet for its programming and a platform to increase the popularity of satellite television versus the more established cable industry. 

Kirkland & Ellis also represented General Motors in its previous attempt to dispose of Hughes Electronics, a transaction agreed to with EchoStar Communications Corporation in October 2001.  That deal was ultimately blocked by federal regulators.