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Corporate & Securities

Primary Practice Contact  Alexander Lourie

Barack Ferrazzano's Corporate & Securities Group represents public and privately held domestic and international companies, as well as investors and boards of directors, in a wide range of corporate and securities law matters. Our broad experience includes mergers, acquisitions and sales of businesses, domestic and international joint ventures, public and private securities offerings and underwritings, SEC filings and compliance matters, corporate governance and stockholder issues, takeover and anti-takeover counseling, leveraged buyouts, private equity, venture capital and corporate finance.

Corporate Counseling

The Firm's Corporate & Securities Group has a reputation among U.S. and international business leaders for its highly experienced attorneys and its focused attention to each client's strategic needs.  Our attorneys regularly provide legal and business advice to our clients and assist them with their day-to-day business requirements.  We serve as general counsel to a variety of established and rapidly growing domestic companies and as lead U.S. counsel to a number of large international companies. We also represent entrepreneurs and individuals whose businesses have evolved during the course of our representation from emerging entrepreneurial companies to publicly traded companies with institutional followings.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions are among the focal areas of our practice. The Firm is regularly called upon to assist our regular private and publicly-held clients, as well as clients who retain us to act as special counsel on transactions requiring highly specific knowledge and experience, with stock and asset acquisitions, mergers, spin-offs, divestitures, joint ventures and other strategic transactions. Our mergers and acquisitions experience is unusually diverse and unique. Over the past several years, we have represented domestic and foreign buyers, sellers and financial intermediaries in diverse transactions involving clients in many different industries including financial institutions, luxury goods, retailing, manufacturing, motor vehicle, wine and spirits, energy, and high technology.

Securities

The Firm maintains an active practice representing and counseling issuers of debt and equity securities, and also regularly represents underwriters and other parties in securities transactions. The Firm has handled numerous domestic and international offerings involving a wide range of debt, equity and hybrid securities. These offerings include initial and other public offerings by issuers, secondary offerings by stockholders, offerings relating to dividend reinvestment programs, exchanges of securities and employee benefit plans, and private placements. In addition, the Firm regularly assists its publicly-held clients with their periodic SEC reporting and disclosure requirements, including the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

In connection with securities transactions, the Firm participates in structuring transactions, drafts disclosure and selling documents, negotiates with or for underwriters, prepares applications to national exchanges, and provides general counseling for compliance with all applicable federal and state securities and corporate governance laws.

Takeover & Anti-Takeover Counseling & Litigation

Barack Ferrazzano attorneys have also represented issuers, management and acquirors in a number of contested takeovers, tender offers, proxy fights and self-tender offers for debt and equity securities. Our services in connection with these engagements include participating in litigation and acquisition strategy, preparing anti-takeover defenses (such as stockholder rights plans), and assisting clients in complying with applicable tender offer and proxy regulations and state anti-takeover statutes.

Our Team

Leveraging a combination of legal, regulatory and previous business experience, our attorneys are highly credentialed with many years of experience and strong business acumen. As a result, we are well known for crafting practical and creative solutions to difficult or unique complex corporate transactions. In addition, the Firm's flexible, streamlined structure promotes a level of efficiency and quality that makes Barack Ferrazzano especially valuable to some of the world's most successful companies.

Members of our Corporate & Securities Group include an adjunct professor of securities law at Northwestern University School of Law, an adjunct professor of finance at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management (teaching courses in mergers and acquisitions), a former chair of the Chicago Bar Association's corporate law committee, an attorney who played a role in major revisions to the Illinois Business Corporation Act as well as a number of attorneys who write and speak on a regular basis, both in the U.S. and abroad, on various corporate and securities law topics.

Representative Matters

  • Hitachi Global Nuclear Power Plant Alliance

    Represented Hitachi in the formation of a multi-billion dollar global alliance with General Electric Company of their nuclear power plant businesses.

  • LVMH Acquisition of Donna Karan International

    Representation of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in its acquisition by merger of Donna Karan International Inc., a publicly held retail company, and a related private company that owns the Donna Karan trademarks, for a total cash purchase price in excess of $700 million.

  • First Industrial Realty Trust Joint Ventures with CalSTRS

    Represented First Industrial in the formation of four joint ventures with CalSTRS, including three joint ventures for an aggregate investment of $1.8 billion in U.S. real estate and a $285 million joint venture for real estate investment in Canada; and in the negotiation of several subscription debt facilities with WestLB AG, New York branch, including two multicurrency facilities totaling $950 million.

  • The Shidler Group/Pacific Office Properties Trust Reverse Merger

    Represented The Shidler Group in connection with the formation of a new public west coast-focused office properties REIT in a "reverse merger" transaction involving the contribution of The Shidler Group's western U.S. office building portfolio to a newly created operating partnership subsidiary of Pacific Office Properties Trust and the assumption of indebtedness in excess of $750 million.

  • Fendi Acquisition of Taramax SA

    Represented Fendi in its acquisition of a controlling interest in Taramax SA, its watch licensee, and entry into long term license agreement.

  • Le Labo Sale to Estée Lauder

    Representation of Le Labo in connection with the sale to The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

  • Moët Hennessy Sale of Chopin Vodka

    Representation of Moët Hennessy in its sale of the worldwide distribution rights of Chopin Vodka to Diamond Capital Ltd.

  • Principal U.S. Counsel LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton

    The Firm has a longstanding relationship with LVMH, an iconic luxury goods and services conglomerate with 60+ brands, serving as outside counsel for its corporate and real estate transactions, as well as intellectual property and litigation matters around the world, and providing strategic legal counsel in connection with acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, brand management, employment agreements, and endorsement agreements.

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  • Accor S.A. Merger with Travel Entities

    Represented Accor S.A. in its merger with the Business Travel Operations of Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits et du Tourisme and Carlson Travel Group and Carlson Marketing Group.

  • Accor S.A. Sale of Carlson Wagonlit Travel

    Represented Accor S.A. in its sale of Carlson Wagonlit Travel to the Carlson Companies and One Equity Partners in a deal valued at over $250 million.

  • ACME Barrel Company Sale by Merger to Palex

    Represented ACME Barrel Company in the sale by merger to Palex, a public company, for a total cash purchase price of approximately $35 million.

  • AMEX Investment Management Company

    Engaged as corporate counsel to AMEX investment management company.

  • Biotech "Reverse Merger" Transaction and Pre-Merger PIPE Financing

    Represented a development stage biotech company in a going public "reverse merger" transaction, including a related pre-merger PIPE financing into the public company target.

  • Bliss Cosmetics Sale

    Represented LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in its sale of its interest in Bliss to Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

  • Broker-Dealer

    Counsel to FINRA-licensed broker-dealer engaged in structuring and raising non-listed REIT equity equivalents for listed REITs.

  • Cliquot S.A. Acquisition of Newton Vineyard

    Represented Clicquot S.A. in connection with its investment in Newton Vineyard.

  • Data Transmission Network Sale to VS&A Communications Partners

    Represented Data Transmission Network Corporation in connection with the sale to VS&A Communications Partners by cash tender offer worth over $300 million.

  • Digital Garage Venture Investments

    Represented Digital Garage in its venture investments in Twitter, Technorati, and Etology.

  • Ellison Technologies Acquisition of J&H Machine Tools

    Represented Ellison Technologies in its acquisition of J&H Machine Tools.

  • Ethanol "Going Private" SEC Deregistration Transactions

    Represented numerous ethanol production companies in going private SEC deregistration transactions, including through reverse stock splits and reclassifications.

  • First Analysis Venture Investments

    Represented First Analysis in its venture investments in GAPBusters, NitroSecurity, AdvancePath Academics and Learning Internet.

  • First Busey Corporation and Main Street Trust, Inc. Merger of Equals

    Represented Main Street in connection with the merger of equals involving First Busey and Main Street resulting in a financial institution with assets of $4.1 billion.

  • First Industrial Realty Trust

    Recent projects include: negotiation of the sale of First Industrial’s interests in several North American joint ventures to its joint venture partner; the significant restructuring of the operations of this REIT’s taxable REIT subsidiary and its receipt of a private letter ruling from the IRS that resulted in the REIT’s recognition in excess of $100 million of tax losses from the restructuring transaction; and restructuring of the REIT’s and its operating partnership’s $625 million primary credit facility with Wells Fargo Bank, National Associations, as the Administrative Agent.

  • First Industrial Realty Trust Registration Statement Conversions

    Represented First Industrial Realty Trust in its conversion of automatic shelf registration statements to Form S-3 shelf registration statements. The registration statements cover sales by the company as well as resales by existing securities holders and involve more than $1.75 billion of securities.

  • First Industrial Realty Trust Stock Offerings

    Served as primary counsel to NYSE-listed industrial REIT with respect to several public offerings utilizing diverse structures, including a 12.5 million share of common stock ($65.6 million) firm commitment underwriting, various "bought deal" underwritten offerings of an aggregate of over 35.1 million shares of common stock for gross proceeds of over $450 million, continuous “at-the-market” programs offering up to 10 million shares, 12.5 million shares and 13.3 million shares of common stock, respectively, and direct stock sales of up to 5 million shares pursuant to a dividend reinvestment and direct stock purchase plan. The offerings utilized takedowns from a universal shelf registration statement on which we previously represented the company.

  • First Industrial Realty Trust Waterfall Debt Tender Offer

    Served as primary counsel to First Industrial in connection with its cash tender offers for $160 million and $87 million, respectively, in aggregate principal amount of notes utilizing a "waterfall" structure to prioritize accepted tenders.

  • Football Fanatics Private Equity Investment

    Representation of Football Fanatics in connection with its recapitalization and sale of Series A Preferred Shares to a well-known private equity firm.

  • Georg Fischer Acquisition

    Represented GF Machining Solutions, a division of Georg Fischer AG providing machine tools and related solutions and services, in its acquisition of all of the equity of Microlution, Inc. a specialty machine-tool company.

  • Global Material Technologies Joint Venture

    Represented Global Material Technologies, a leading manufacturer of steel wool, in connection with the formation of a joint venture to manufacture steel wool products in India.

  • Grist Mill Co. Sale to International Home Foods

    Represented Grist Mill Co., a public company, in the sale to International Home Foods, Inc. by cash tender offer of over $150 million.

  • Hedge Fund PIPE Investments

    Represented related hedge funds in numerous PIPE investments in and convertible debt financings of companies in a range of industries.

  • Hitachi Acquisition of Mechanical Dynamics & Analysis

    Represented Hitachi in its acquisition of Mechanical Dynamics & Analysis, a provider of products and services for the power generator industry.

  • Inland Venture Corporation Joint Venture with Pine Tree Institutional Realty

    Represented Inland Venture Corporation in a development joint venture with Pine Tree Institutional Realty involving equity commitments of $100 million.

  • LVMH Acquisition of Cosmetics Companies

    Represented LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in its acquisition of a number of cosmetics companies, including Fresh, Benefit Cosmetics, Bliss and Hard Candy.

  • LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Acquisition of Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France

    Representation of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in its acquisition of a UK company that owns Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France, a 5-star hotel located on the Caribbean Island of St. Barthémy. The acquisition involved complex holding structures that required extensive tax planning and negotiations with minority shareholders.

  • LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Acquisition of Ole Henriksen

    Representation of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in connection with its acquisition of botanical skincare company Ole Henriksen

  • Medgenics, Inc. Initial Public Offering

    Served as counsel to Medgenics, Inc., an Israeli clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, in its U.S. initial public offering of common stock on the NYSE Amex.

  • Moet Hennessy Acquisition of Millennium Import

    Represented Moët Hennessy S.A. in its acquisition of Millennium Import, the manufacturer, importer and distributor of Belvedere and Chopin vodkas, in a deal worth approximately $300 million.

  • Municipal Bond Transactions

    Represented issuers and banks in multiple municipal bond transactions involving, among other projects, the construction of a manufacturing facility, the financing of a private, not-for-profit school and the financing of a community health center.

  • National Container Services Management Buy-Out

    Represented National Container Services in a management buy-out transaction.

  • Neapco Acquisition of Automotive Components Holdings

    Representation of Neapco in its acquisition of a division of Automotive Components Holdings, an affiliate of Ford Motor Company, and its entry into a long term supply agreement with Ford.

  • Pacific Office Properties Public Offering

    Serve as primary corporate, securities and tax for this West Coast office REIT. Recent projects include: negotiation of senior executive employment contracts, and a continuous public offering of $400 million senior common stock which was declared effective in January 2010. Pacific Office's non-listed senior common stock offering represents a novel capital-raising opportunity by providing a publicly traded REIT with access to the market for non-listed REIT shares.

  • Piazza Sempione Joint Venture

    Representation of Piazza Sempione, an upscale fashion line headquartered in Milan, Italy, with respect to formation of joint venture with IK Enterprises for the development and operation of Piazza Sempione retail stores in the U.S.

  • Pierre Fabre Sale of Physicians Formula

    Represented Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetiques, S.A. in its sale of Physicians Formula.

  • Quality Distribution Debt Exchange Offers

    Represented Quality Distribution, Inc., a public company, in issuing registered notes for outstanding privately issued notes utilizing the A/B exchange structure.

  • Safecor Health Acquisition of Regional Service Center

    Representation of Safecor Health in its acquisition of Regional Service Center, the largest pharmaceutical repackaging company in the eastern United States.

  • Sale of Interest in Miami Design District Associates

    Representation of L Real Estate, a private equity fund sponsored by LVMH, and Dacra, founded and owned by developer Craig Robins, in connection with the sale of a 20% interest in Miami Design District Associates, a joint venture between L Real Estate and Dacra, to General Growth Properties (GGP) and Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. GGP and Ashkenazy paid an aggregate of $280 million for the 20% interest, valuing the entire joint venture at $1.4 billion. Miami Design District Associates owns a substantial portion of the Miami Design District which it is developing to be a leading luxury retail destination in the dynamic Miami market. The firm continues to represent Miami Design District Associates, including in connection with its leasing activities as it continues to attract leading luxury goods companies to the Miami Design District.

  • Sale of Provident Clinical Research & Consulting, Inc.

    Representation of Provident in its sale to Mérieux NutriSciences Corporation, one of Europe's leading human nutrition clinical trials companies

  • Salomon, S.A. Acquisition of Bonfire Think Tank Designs Assets

    Represented Salomon, S.A. in its acquisition of assets of Bonfire Think Tank Designs.

  • Salomon, S.A. Acquisition of Taylor Made Golf

    Represented Salomon, S.A. in its acquisition of Taylor Made Golf Co.

  • Sonova Holding AG Projects

    Counsel with respect to the U.S. operations of Sonova Holding AG, an international provider of hearing instruments. Represent the client in various areas of the law, including corporate, litigation and employment matters.

  • Tab Products Co. Sale by Merger to HS Morgan Limited Partnership

    Represented Tab Products Co., a public company, in connection with the sale by merger to HS Morgan Limited Partnership.

  • The Horton Group Insurance Agency Acquisitions

    Represented The Horton Group in multiple acquisitions of insurance agencies throughout the Midwest and Southwest.

  • U.S. Laboratories Acquisition of Robert W. Hunt Company

    Represented U.S. Laboratories in the stock acquisition of Robert W. Hunt Company.

  • U.S. Laboratories Acquisition of Terra-Mar

    Represented U.S. Laboratories in the stock acquisition of Terra-Mar.

  • US Bank Revolving Credit Facility for Pacific Capital Bank

    Represented U.S. Bank in $300 million revolving credit facility for Pacific Capital Bank secured by refund anticipation loans. This financing replaced a securitized conduit facility that had been used in prior years and was the first such credit facility.

  • Vita Food Products Acquisition

    Represented controlling stockholder in acquisition of remaining stock of Vita Food Products by merger.

  • VTG North America Acquisitions of Railcar Assets

    Representation of VTG North America, the US subsidiary of VTG AG, the largest railcar lessor in Europe, in its acquisitions of railcar assets from industry giants General Electric Company, Babcock & Brown and CIT Group.

  • Wanxiang America Acquisition of Neapco

    Represented Wanxiang America Corporation in its acquisition of Neapco, an industry leader in drivetrain technology.