Stephen Koval, Co-Chair of the firm’s Corporate Department, concentrates his practice on structuring and negotiating complex business transactions and private equity structures, including public and private mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, carveouts, recapitalizations and workouts. He has substantial experience in public offerings and private placements of debt and equity securities, representing financial institutions and US issuers of all sizes in the United States, and both US and international entities in cross-border offerings. He is also experienced in the restructuring of the debt of financially distressed public and private companies.
Steve is an experienced corporate counselor, advising boards of directors and their committees on a broad range of issues, including governance and executive compensation.
His practice is particularly focused on several industries in which he has substantial experience, including retail, consumer goods and luxury brands, transactional health care, industrials and services.
Steve has been recognized as a leading practitioner in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and has served on the firm’s Executive Committee.
- Represented Moelis Capital Partners in a growth investment in Dr. Fresh Inc. and an add-on acquisition of the Reach brand tootbrush assets of Johnson & Johnson.
- Representing Uni-World Capital as co-equity sponsor in the acquisition, together with co-equity sponsor Brightwood Capital, of VanDeMark Chemical Inc., a leading global producer of specialty, intermediate, and catalyst chemicals based on phosgenation chemistry.
- Representing PhotoMedex, Inc., a Global Skin Health Solutions™ company, in its public merger with Radiancy, Inc.
- Represented Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. in its multi-billion dollar sale of its Grey Goose vodka brand to Bacardi Limited.
- Represented Chef America, a major frozen food company, in a Goldman Sachs-led auction sale of the company to Nestlé for $2.6 billion.
- Represented J.W. Childs Associates and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity in the acquisition of Advantage Sales & Marketing Inc. (“ASM”) for approximately $1.05 billion, and the subsequent sale to Apax Partners for $1.8 billion. ASM is a leading sales and marketing agency in the US, providing outsourced sales, marketing and merchandising services to manufacturers, suppliers and producers of consumer goods.
- Represented a consortium comprised of J.W. Childs and two Singapore-based co-investors in the going private acquisition and associated financing of Brookstone, Inc., valued at approximately $465 million.
- Represented J.W. Childs and another private equity sponsor in the acquisitions and associated financings of Pinnacle Foods and Aurora Foods in separate acquisitions, one through the going private bankruptcy of Aurora Foods, and the combination of those businesses, in transactions aggregating several billion dollars. Pinnacle and Aurora own and market well-known branded food products.
- Represented J.W. Childs and Halifax Capital Partners in the $300 million leveraged recapitalization of Universal Hospital Services, the leading provider of leased medical equipment to hospitals and other health care facilities.
- Represented Universal Hospital Services, Inc. in its sale to Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, the private equity affiliate of The Bear Stearns Companies, Inc., for approximately $712 million.
- Represented a sovereign Islamic bank in its investment in a China-based real estate joint venture.
- Represented Teka Capital, a private equity firm dedicated to investments in Latin America, in the first close of its debut fund, with US$104 million in total capital commitments.
- Represented Uni-World Capital L.P. in its acquisition of Iron City Brewing, a Pittsburgh based brewing company and the first US producer of light beer.
- Represented Essie Cosmetics, one of the largest independent nail polish companies in the beauty industry, in connection with its acquisition by L'Oréal USA.
- Representing J.W. Childs in the sale of JA Holding, Inc., parent company of the American clothing brand Joseph Abboud, to Men’s Warehouse for approximately $97.5 million in cash.
- Represented J.W. Childs as part of the sponsor group with two Canadian co-investors in the C$640 million going private acquisition and associated financing of MAAX Inc, a Canadian manufacturer of shower and bathroom fixtures, and its subsequent restructuring and sale.
- Represented J.W. Childs and Halifax Capital Partners in the $500 million going private acquisition and associated financing of InSight Health, a leading national provider of diagnostic imaging services, and its subsequent restructuring.
- Represented J.W. Childs in the $170 million acquisition and associated financing of the Meow Mix and Alley Cat brands of cat food from Ralston Purina (as part of the FTC’s negotiated consent order approving the acquisition of Ralston Purina by Nestlé) and its subsequent sale of The Meow Mix Company to the Cypress Group.
- Represented J.W. Childs in the $350 million acquisition and associated financing of Hartz Mountain Corporation, the leading manufacturer and distributor of pet supplies and its subsequent $388 million sale of Hartz to Sumitomo Corporation of America.
- Represented J.W. Childs in the sale of American Safety Razor, a leading global manufacturer of private label wet shaving razors and blades, and industrial, specialty and medical blades, to Lion Capital LLP, a London-based private equity firm, in a $625 million transaction.
- Represented U.S. Home Corporation, one of the largest homebuilding companies in the United States, in its public sale, in a multi-billion dollar stock-for-stock merger, to Lennar Corporation.
- Represented Golden Pond Healthcare, Inc., a special purpose acquisition corporation (“SPAC”), in issuing $125 million of public equity to raise capital for the acquisition of a healthcare company or companies.
- Represented an international investor group in structuring and financing bids for banks being privatized by the Peruvian government in separate transactions, including a Regulation S/Rule 144A offering of exchangeable notes to finance a portion of one bid.