Private Equity

FBT’s Private Equity Industry Team is focused on providing legal services for clients operating in the middle-market private equity and venture capital financing spaces. Our private equity clients benefit from the firm’s locations in the middle of America, where many acquisition targets have operations. We represent private equity and venture capital investors across all aspects of their investment cycle, from negotiating partnership agreements and structuring funds to executing platform acquisitions and undertaking restructurings, financings and exit transactions. We also provide comprehensive legal and advisory services to portfolio companies, startups, entrepreneurs, and businesses seeking financial investors and buyers.

Along with our team’s extensive M&A and finance-related capabilities, our clients also rely on our depth in other core business functions, including corporate governance, labor and employment, litigation, environmental, real estate, IP licensing and enforcement, securities, tax, and ERISA law. From complex, cross-border transactions to angel investments, we handle each transaction with efficiency, creativity, care, and experienced judgement. Where needed, we coordinate and conduct due-diligence and operational risk assessments for private equity clients, helping them evaluate risks and issues to make informed investment decisions.

Phase Expertise

Private Equity Phase Expertise

Each facet of private equity — be it fundraising, portfolio management, or exits — has its own specialized considerations. For this reason, we have team members focusing predominantly on specific phases of the PE investment lifecycle. This focus enables us to apply our resources consistently and cost-effectively, while keeping our client’s goals squarely in sight.   

We help clients strike the right balance between managing risk and getting the deal done, with an eye toward maximizing the value measures our clients care about most: money, time, and risk mitigation. Our comprehensive approach and deep industry and business perspective strengthen the services we bring to private equity, which include:

Formations

  • Fund structure, terms, negotiation, and documentation
  • Tax structure, credits, and incentives
  • Transaction financing (mezzanine etc.)
  • Regulatory matters

Acquisitions

  • Due-diligence and operational risk assessments
  • Immigration review
  • Regulatory counsel for industry-specific targets
  • Employment and equity compensation arrangements
  • Structuring and implementing governance arrangements
  • M&A services (including platform and add-on transactions) 

Exits

  • Exit strategies
  • IPOs
  • Recapitalizations
  • Spin-offs, leveraged buyouts, carve-outs
  • Sales to financial and strategic buyers
 

Portfolio Services

Providing value-added governance and outside general counsel services to portfolio companies is another way we support our private equity clients. Whether it’s resolving employment and compensation issues, establishing governance best practices between PE sponsors and their portfolio company boards, managing legal and regulatory risks, curbing legal and operational costs, or laying the groundwork to maximize the value of the investment, we offer the same high-level insight and attentiveness. Our Midwestern cost structure and values provide our clients an attractive choice for managing expenses and maximizing value, while giving them the advantage of a depth of knowledge and experience.

Middle Market Focus

While our attorneys have handled billion-dollar deals in specialized industries like oil and gas and auto, our focus is on assisting clients in the lower-middle and middle markets. We’ve emerged as a go-to firm for clients operating in this space because of our ability to bring top-market terms and methods to middle-market deals. And, with offices throughout the middle of the U.S., we are well-positioned to help private equity funds target, vet, and acquire businesses within and outside the middle U.S.

Cross-Industry Strength

Our private equity team comprises more than 50 attorneys who, in addition to representing a diverse range of specialties, bring a wealth of industry-specific experience, having advised companies and investors in the automotive, tech, health care, manufacturing, oil and gas, logistics, and franchising sectors. We understand how the deal and regulatory framework varies from one industry and jurisdiction to the next — knowledge and experience that allows us to anticipate and resolve issues early in the deal process.

Representing Sellers

FBT also works with founders and entrepreneurs in connection with selling their businesses to private equity firms.  Company owners who are considering a sale find our depth of private equity experience valuable in making strategic decisions and navigating the process.

Value Capture

We pride ourselves on being both deal makers and difference makers, and our proficiency in the middle market, combined with our deep understanding of private equity, enable us to efficiently help our private equity clients achieve their strategic goals. While our primary goal is to usher each deal from start to finish line, we recognize that some deals inevitably wash out, and so we approach “broken deals” in creative ways that underscore our commitment to forging productive, long-term relationships with our private equity clients.

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