For Ben Druskin, Citigroups co-head of global technology, media and telecommunications banking, having Dad on the board of a key client company might suggest the possibility of favoritism. But when Druskin and his team brought home $32.5 million in fees from the sale of Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) in February, the gigantic paycheck was solely the result of their tenacity through a tortuous six-year journey to the deal.
The effort that led to ACSs $8.4 billion takeover by Norwalk, Connecticutbased printer-and-copier giant Xerox Corp. began in 2004 four years before Druskins father, former Citi COO Robert Druskin, joined the ACS board. The relationship between Ben Druskin and business-process outsourcing provider ACS dated to 1997, when the New Jersey native started giving strategic advice to then-CEO Jeffrey Rich. Over the years, Druskin, 42, worked on many deals with Rich and two subsequent ACS chief executives, Mark King and Lynn Blodgett.
Dallas-based ACSs quest for a buyer started on the wrong foot. The companys founder, Texas billionaire Darwin Deason, first aimed for a leveraged buyout of the company he launched in 1988, but a potential deal with Blackstone Group and TPG Capital collapsed in 2005 over price differences. Then negotiations with Cerberus Capital Management broke off in late 2007 as markets grew rocky. Later, talks with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. folded in the catastrophic fall of 2008. Druskin, along with Citi managing directors Eric Levengood and Edward Wehle, served as sole adviser to ACS during these negotiations.
Meanwhile, Xerox had its eye on ACS. Last spring, Xerox asked its long-standing adviser Blackstone to consider possible approaches. In a reflection of todays complex deal-making landscape, John Studzinski and Christopher Pasko of the private equity firms advisory division teamed up with Paul (Chip) Schorr of its buyout unit (who had led the 2005 bid to acquire ACS). They contacted ACSs Deason about a sale to Xerox; they first proposed that Blackstone co-invest, but an outright acquisition quickly followed.
Druskin represented ACS on price and deal structure, working closely with Blackstone and Douglas Braunstein, then head of investment banking and now CFO at JPMorgan. Those two firms claimed $20 million apiece, according to securities filings. For advising ACSs special committee, Evercore Partners received $16 million.