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Frank Placenti leads our U.S. Corporate Governance Practice and works with clients throughout the firm. He focuses focuses his practice on corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions. With more than 35 years of experience in corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, internal investigations, antitakeover, securities law, and shareholder relations issues, Frank has represented public companies, broker/dealers, and private equity firms and their portfolio companies with mergers and acquisitions, capital formation, securities and corporate law, regulatory compliance, anti-takeover matters and shareholder engagement and activism. He advises clients, special committees, and audit committees in managing internal investigations, as well as on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and stock exchange investigatory matters.

Frank was the Founding President and Trustee of the American College of Governance Counsel. He currently serves as Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee of the American Bar Association.

Concentrations

  • Corporate governance
  • Internal investigations
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Private equity
  • Venture capital
  • White collar defense and special investigations

Capabilities

Experience

  • Represented Avnet, Inc. in its acquisition of Bell Microproducts, Inc, a US$3 billion public company with worldwide operations.°
  • Represented Avnet, Inc. in its acquisition of various companies in China and Japan.°
  • Represented Living Independently Group, Inc. in its sale to the Healthcare Division of General Electric Corporation.°
  • Represented Tickets.com in connection with its sale to the internet subsidiary of Major League Baseball.°
  • Represented a special board committee of Ben & Jerry’s, Inc. in the company’s US$300 million sale to Unilever.°
  • Represented Viad Corp. in its public tender offer and acquisition of Moneygram, Inc.°
  • Represented Viad Corp. in its sale of Dobbs Catering to SAir Group in a transaction valued at approximately US$1 billion and in various other acquisitions and dispositions over a 25-year period.°
  • Represented Universal Technical Institute, Inc. in its IPO and subsequent securities regulation and corporate governance matters.°
  • Represented 13 of the original investors in the formation and franchise acquisition of the Arizona Diamondbacks.°
  • Represented an Arizona-based grocery store chain in its IPO, subsequent debt offerings and acquisition of multiple grocery store chains in adjoining states.°
  • Represented various private equity firms in connection with the acquisition and disposition of portfolio companies.°
  • Represented a special committee of the board of a mutual fund company in connection with its sale in a stock-and-cash transaction valued at more than US$250 million.°
  • Represented America West Airlines in connection with numerous financing and other transactions and an SEC investigation accompanying its corporate bankruptcy.°
  • Represented Del E. Webb in the sale of its affiliated public real estate investment trust (REIT).°
  • Represented an NYSE-traded pharmaceuticals corporation in connection with two public equity offerings, as well as the acquisitions of several product lines from major pharmaceuticals companies.°
  • Represented the audit committee of a major Phoenix-based transportation company in connection with its investigation of financial whistleblower allegations.°
  • Investigating an NYSE-listed broker-dealer in connection with alleged insider trading activities and its eventual sale.°
  • Represented a financial services holding company in connection with various joint venture transactions and an SEC investigation relating to a financial restatement.°
  • Represented Del E. Webb Real Estate Investment Trust in matters relating to an activist shareholder, including a contested shareholders meeting.°
  • Represented the independent members of the Board of Ben & Jerrys in various governance matters and the eventual sale of the company Unilever, Inc.°
  • Represented the Board of AMERCO (parent of U-Haul International, Inc.) in a shareholder dispute and contested takeover effort.°
  • Represented major home builder in its unsolicited bid for an NYSE-traded home builder.°
  • Represented a private equity firm in various unsolicited (and contested) bids for public companies.°
  • Represented the audit committee of a U.S. public company based in China in a year-long investigation of suspected financial irregularities.°
  • Represented the audit committee of a national trucking company in connection with a whistleblower investigation of alleged financial irregularities.°
  • Represented the board of directors of a private equity-backed company in connection with an investigation of systematic embezzlement and other misconduct by the company’s CEO.°
  • Represented a major U.S.-based airline in connection with the investigation of a bribery, extortion and kickback scheme involving the construction of a hanger and training facility.°

°The above representations were handled by Mr. Placenti prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, 2006-2022
    • Selected, “Lawyer of the Year, - Corporate Compliance Law in Phoenix,” 2021
    • Corporate Governance Law
    • Corporate Compliance Law
    • Corporate Law
    • Mergers and Acquisitions
    • Securities/Capital Markets
  • Listed, Chambers USA Guide, Corporate/M&A – Arizona, 2003-2022
  • Recognized, IFLR, “Highly Regarded – Arizona”
  • Selected, Lawdragon, “Lawdragon 500”
  • Selected, International Global Law Experts Awards, “Corporate Governance Lawyer of the Year- Arizona,” 2013
  • Recommended, PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook, 2009
  • Listed, PLC Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions Handbook
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Southwest Super Lawyers, 2007
  • Founding President, American College of Governance Counsel
  • Chair, American Bar Association’s Corporate Governance Committee, 2019-Present
  • Member, Greater Phoenix Leadership, 2004-Present
  • Chair, Equality Health Foundation Board, 2020-Present
  • Board Member, Arizona State University Lodestar Foundation, 2021-Present

Credentials

Education
  • J.D., summa cum laude, The Ohio State University College of Law
    • Order of the Coif
  • B.A., The Ohio State University
Admissions
  • Arizona
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit