Stuart A. Laven, Jr. is a shareholder in the firm’s Business Law and Capital and Finance Groups, where he focuses his practice on financial restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, commercial finance, entertainment and media, and intellectual property (technology) licensing.
Mergers and Acquisitions, Commercial Finance
Mr. Laven advises middle market businesses, closely-held and family-owned companies, and emerging enterprises, as well as private equity funds and equity sponsors, in all modes of M&A transactions. He also advises diverse businesses and their boards in corporate governance, customer and vendor contracting and disputes, and employment matters. 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, entertainment/music, and healthcare (including durable medical device manufacturers, assisted living/skilled nursing facilities, ambulatory surgical facilities, and ambulance companies). As a compliment to his M&A practice, Mr. Laven has substantial experience negotiating technology licenses and distribution deals (hardware/devices, software, mobile apps) for both emerging enterprises and multinational companies.
Mr. Laven also has experience representing both lenders and borrowers in all modes of commercial financings, including senior secured loans, asset-based (ABL) revolving credit facilities, commercial real estate (CRE) financings, participations, and subordinated/mezzanine credit facilities.
Financial Restructuring, Distressed M&A and Bankruptcy
Mr. Laven 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, telecommunications, commercial real estate, retail, construction, and pharmaceuticals.
Mr. Laven has extensive experience in all modes of distressed asset deals, including “stalking horse” section 363 sales, credit bid acquisitions, and “loan-to-own” deals. He also has substantial experience representing both borrowers and lenders in structuring, negotiating, and financing distressed commercial real estate transactions.
Mr. Laven is a frequent author and lecturer on financial restructuring topics, with an emphasis on distressed M&A and commercial real estate issues. His publications in the CRE area include “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” (DS News). His articles on distressed M&A topics include “Red Flags in the Public Record” (Mergers & Acquisitions Magazine), “Purchase Price Adjustments in Bankruptcy Asset Sales: Keeping an Eye on the Bottom Line” (Journal of Bankruptcy Law), and “Perfecting the Art of Stalking Horse Bidding” (Mergers & Acquisitions Magazine).
Media and Entertainment
A lifelong musician and veteran performer in the region, Mr. Laven’s entertainment practice has evolved organically to focus on the representation of recording artists, songwriters, music publishers, record labels and production companies in all aspects of the music recording, distribution, promotion, and publishing businesses. His industry experience includes the negotiation of publishing, recording and licensing deals on both the artist/performer and label/talent buyer sides of the table. Mr. Laven has represented startup production companies, record labels and publishing houses in their formation, capitalization and talent signing efforts. His significant industry transactions include the sell-side representation of a Nashville (Music Row) country label in its management-led buyout.