Stuart A. Laven, Jr. is a shareholder in the firm’s Capital and Finance Group, where he focuses his practice on financial restructuring, commercial finance, mergers and acquisitions, and technology contracts and licensing.
Commercial Finance, Corporate and M&A
Stuart represents lenders, borrowers and sponsors in all modes of commercial financings, including senior secured loans, asset-based lending (ABL) facilities, commercial real estate (CRE) financings, participations, and subordinated/mezzanine credit facilities. His CRE experience includes representing Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae multifamily borrowers and preparing required nonconsolidation opinions.
Stuart also advises middle market businesses, closely-held and family-owned companies, and emerging enterprises, as well as private equity funds and fundless sponsors, in all modes of M&A transactions. He has extensive, specialized experience with troubled company acquisitions and restructurings, and has represented both buyers and sellers in deals across a broad spectrum of industries, including heavy industries, process automation, polymers/plastics, trucking/transportation, consumer products, and healthcare.
Financial Restructuring and Bankruptcy
Stuart has led representations of debtors, senior lenders, acquirers, and other significant stakeholders in all phases of the Chapter 11 process, as well as in non-bankruptcy and out-of-court restructuring alternatives. He has represented major constituencies in Chapter 11 proceedings in jurisdictions nationwide in a variety of industries, including health care, transportation, automotive, commercial real estate, retail, construction, and pharmaceuticals.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Stuart led successful out-of-court restructurings and refinancings of middle market businesses in heavily impacted industries, including live events, aerospace, automotive, and building materials.
Stuart is a frequent author and lecturer on financial restructuring, commercial finance, and M&A topics. His publications include “J.C. Penney’s Big Rent Abatement Push: Will Landlords Bear the Brunt of Covid-19’s Impact on Retail? (Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal), “Chapter 12’s New $10 Million Debt Limit: Will Farm Bankruptcy Filings Spike” (The Farm Bankruptcy Blog), “Post-Bankruptcy Interest on Oversecured Debt: How Much Can You Get” (CRE Finance World) and “Protecting Assigned Rents in Single Asset Real Estate Chapter 11 Cases: A Reality Check” (Default Servicer News).
Technology Contracts and Licensing
Stuart also has substantial experience negotiating inbound and outbound technology licenses (hardware/devices, software, mobile apps) for both emerging companies and multinational companies, including outbound cross-border license deals and SAAS agreements.
Recent Representative Engagements
• Represented Covid-impacted airline/aerospace component borrower in workout and refinancing of $30 million term and ABL senior loan facilities.
• Represented Covid-impacted live events borrower in $11 million senior loan workout and refinancing with rescue capital from a national restaurant group.
• Represented multifamily borrower in $30 million Freddie Mac K-Deal (CMBS) acquisition financing, including issuance of non-consolidation opinion.
• Represented middle market lumber/construction materials borrower in distress refinancing of $7 million asset-based revolving credit facility.
• Represented private equity-sponsored borrower (specialty plastics) in various substantive modifications to $16 million split collateral term/ABL facility.
• Serve as outside general counsel to Tier 1 automotive supplier in diverse range of matters (working capital financings, OEM/customer contract negotiations and disputes).
• Serve as lead outside counsel to Global Trade Credit group of large public company in customer Chapter 11 bankruptcies.
• Defended private equity-sponsored heavy electrical equipment manufacturer in series of post-acquisition successor liability and fraudulent transfer actions in NY, OH, PA and TX.
• Represented senior agricultural lender in Chapter 12 bankruptcy of large Western NY dairy farm.
• Represented distressed regional ambulance business in out-of-court forbearance with SBIC debt fund and ultimate Art. 9 asset sale to a strategic acquirer.
• Represented Covid-impacted borrower in distressed sale of $7 million industrial property and related senior financing exit.
• Represented distressed private equity fund in restructuring and ultimate $5 million sale of portfolio recycling business.
• Represented super-regional bank in middle market ABL/term loan originations and substantive modifications/amendments, including rate swaps, consolidations, and subordination/intercreditor agreements.
• Represented process automation hardware manufacturer and mobile app developer in various outbound licensing and SAAS matters.