Private Equity

Overview

“ As an extension of our deal team, they know what is important to us and how to accomplish the results we need. ”

Brian Demkowicz
Huron Capital Partners, Detroit, Michigan

The Honigman Private Equity Practice Group represents the unique needs of private equity funds in the financing, acquisition, operation and ultimate disposition of their portfolio investments. Our private equity clients include traditional sponsors, family offices and independent sponsors managing billions of dollars.  

Honigman is the only Michigan law firm to receive the highest ranking for its Corporate/M&A Practice in 2013 Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Chambers noted that, “this group is singled out as Michigan's market-leading corporate practice, and is highly recommended across a broad spectrum of transactional and regulatory specialties. The team has a strong focus on the private equity sector and is also active in the fields of public M&A, corporate governance and venture capital,” and with clients adding that, “They are exceptional, extremely high quality and have a great reputation.” 

While we are based in Michigan (and are involved in a substantial majority of transactions led by Michigan-based sponsors), our Private Equity Practice is national in scope. We represent private equity funds on the East and West coasts and throughout the Midwest. Many of our clients met us across the table in a deal and engaged us for subsequent transactions.

Our Private Equity Group is comprised of more than 40 attorneys with vast experience in mergers and acquisitions, senior and subordinated financing and restructuring, as well as being knowledgeable in tax, executive compensation, Employee Retirement Investment Security Act (ERISA), real estate and intellectual property. Unlike many national law firms, our transaction teams are led by a senior member of our group, who is involved in all aspects of the transaction on a day-to-day basis.

Our primary focus is middle-market transactions, typically involving companies with enterprise values of up to $500 million. We represent clients in nearly every industry vertical, and we are particularly knowledgeable about the manufacturing, business services, automotive, financial services, construction, health care, specialty chemicals, housing/building products, direct to consumer marketing and aerospace sectors.   

At the acquisition/investment stage, we assist our clients in setting goals that align the operational, economic, accounting, tax and regulatory needs of a particular situation. We have extensive experience in all aspects of an acquisition/investment transaction, including tax structuring, financing, and complex acquisition/investment negotiations.

Honigman regularly provides ongoing counsel to the portfolio companies of our private equity clients during the term of the investment, including general legal counseling, corporate governance matters, add-on acquisitions and divestitures.  We grew our Private Equity Practice based upon a foundation, built over 60 years, of representing many significant privately held companies. This experience, coupled with our Midwestern cost structure, enables us to provide portfolio company counseling in an efficient, cost-effective manner.  

As important as it is to find a good investment, it is equally important to implement an effective exit strategy. Our experience includes the full spectrum of exit transactions, and we assist our private equity clients in recapitalizations, mergers and consolidations, asset sales, stock sales and initial public offerings. Our advice begins at the investment stage of the transaction, and during the exit transaction, we address negotiation and transaction strategy, structure, indemnity risks and legal compliance with securities, corporate and other laws.

Honigman also has substantial experience in the formation of private equity funds with diverse investment strategies. These funds operate at the intersection of numerous laws and regulations, and we bring to bear our experience with federal and state regulatory regimes, as well as ERISA and tax matters, to achieve optimum outcomes for our clients. For sponsors of private equity funds, we provide practical and creative assistance in structuring operations in a manner that addresses the business goals desired by the principals while optimizing their tax position.

Representative Matters

  • Advised a Midwest based private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of a Wisconsin specialty films manufacturer
  • Counseled a Florida based direct marketing solutions company with respect to its acquisition of a Florida business and program management solutions company
  • Represented a California private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of a leading franchisor of private pay, professional in-home care for elderly individuals
  • Advised a Midwest private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of a Missouri coffee company
  • Counseled a Midwest private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of a Florida digital media company
  • Represented a Canadian tobacco laboratory company with respect to its disposition to a Canadian private equity fund
  • Advised a Midwest private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of a Midwest manufacturer in the refrigeration and automotive industries
  • Counseled a Midwest private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of a Pennsylvania personal emergency response service provider
  • Represented a Midwest based private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of a Utah based lead generation company
  • Advised a Midwest private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of a Canadian rail manufacturer
  • Represented a Midwest based private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of a Midwest oil and gas services company
  • Counseled a Midwest private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of a regional rehabilitation services company
  • Advised a Utah private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of a tool manufacturing company
  • Represented a Midwest private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of a Texas home security alarm provider
  • Advised an Ohio based food and beverage supplier with respect to its disposition to a strategic acquirer
  • Counseled a Midwest private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of a national business process outsourcing company
  • Represented a Midwest private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of a Georgia e-commerce business
  • Advised an oil field drilling company with respect to its divestiture to a New Jersey based private equity firm
  • Represented a restoration services provider in the oil and gas industry with respect to its divestiture to a New Jersey based private equity firm
  • Counseled a supply chain solution provider with respect to its divestiture to a Wisconsin based private equity firm
  • Advised Massachusetts private equity fund in the sale of automotive parts retailer to publicly traded automotive parts retailer
  • Counseled a Texas based oilfield construction company with respect to its divestiture to a Texas private equity firm
  • Represented a Utah private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of a Washington state in-flight entertainment company
  • Advised Michigan-based fund manager in the formation of minority-owned private equity fund
  • Counseled an Illinois private equity firm with respect to its acquisition of an international automotive supplier
  • Represented a Wisconsin building distribution products company in multiple acquisitions throughout the Midwest and Northeast
  • Advised a technology and services company for the oil industry with respect to its divestiture to a Massachusetts based private equity firm
  • Counseled Michigan and Connecticut-based fund manager in the formation of private equity funds
  • Represented New York private equity fund in the recapitalization of Michigan scrapbook company

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