April 03, 2017
Corporate Department Chairman Michael J. Aiello has been named an MVP for M&A by Law360 in recognition of his expertise in counseling high-profile clients on more than $250 billion worth of deals in the past year.
Three of his most notable deals, each valued at multibillions of dollars, intensified negotiations during the same month last December: The Dow Chemical Company on a $130 billion merger of equals with E.I. du Pont de Nemours Co.; JAB Holdings on its pending $13.9 billion acquisition of Keurig Green Mountain; and Sanofi SA’s pending $25 billion asset swap with Boehringer Ingelheim. Mr. Aiello credits the strength of Weil’s deal teams in meeting each client’s particular needs during this critical period.
In the Dow-DuPont deal, Weil was tasked with bringing together two industry giants with plans to split the company into three separate, publicly traded companies after the deal closed. The deal required the Weil team to form a new governance structure, featuring advisory committees for each of the three business lines that were expected to be spun off. "Working to put a company together is hard enough, but working to put a company together knowing the plan is to pull it apart is complicated," Mr. Aiello said.
Mr. Aiello, who was drawn to the challenge and pace of M&A from his early practice of litigation, is particularly adept at advising during a crisis, as in the case of Progressive Waste Solutions in its $2.67 billion corporate inversion with Waste Connections Inc. The deal faced challenges not only from within Progressive Waste Solutions, as activists were pressuring for change, but from external forces, as the U.S. government was cracking down on similarly structured tax-motivated deals at that time.
Executive Partner Barry Wolf commended Mr. Aiello’s indispensable appeal to clients, noting that “he has the rare ability to both understand and balance all the legal issues at play in a deal as well all the complex business considerations…[making] him one of the most sought-after deal lawyers in the country.”
Mr. Aiello’s other recent significant deals included advising on IMS Health Holdings Inc.'s $17.6 billion all-stock merger of equals with Quintiles Transnational Holdings Inc., U.K. insurance brokerage Willis Group Holdings PLC on its $18 billion combination with human resources and financial consulting firm Towers Watson & Co., and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. on its $2.8 billion acquisition of the outstanding shares of stock in shopping mall real estate investment trust Rouse Properties Inc.