- Practice Areas: Mergers and acquisitions, takeover defense, strategic alliances and corporate governance matters
- Firm: Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
- Web Site: http://www.sullcrom.com/aquilafrancisj/
Frank Aquila advises a broad range of clients on mergers and acquisitions, takeover defense, strategic alliances and corporate governance matters.
Mr. Aquila serves as regular adviser to global leaders such as Amgen, British Airways, Diageo and Anheuser-Busch InBev. He has represented Amgen, the world’s largest biotech, in its acquisitions of Abgenix, Alantos Pharmaceuticals, Avidia and Ilypsa, and their collaborations with Kirin and Takeda. Over the last decade, he has represented Diageo, the top premium drinks company, in many significant transactions, including its sale of Burger King Corporation to an investor group led by Texas Pacific Group and the merger of Pillsbury with General Mills; its acquisitions of Seagram Wines and Spirits, The Chalone Wine Group, Rosenblum Cellars and Stirrings; the restructuring of its U.S. joint venture arrangements with Moët Hennessy; and its joint venture with respect to Ketel One Vodka, among many others. Mr. Aquila has represented British Airways in numerous transactions over the last 20 years, including its pending joint venture with American Airlines and Iberia, and its proposed combination with Iberia. Mr. Aquila represented InBev in its unsolicited acquisition of Anheuser-Busch and has subsequently represented Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, in various divestitures and other transactions.
Mr. Aquila's representations include:
* Collective Brands (formerly PayLess ShoeSource) in its acquisitions of Stride Rite and Collective International
* J. Sainsbury in the sale of its U.S. supermarket businesses to Albertsons
* Aames Investment Corp. in its merger with Accredited Home Lenders
* Medtronic in its acquisitions of MiniMed and Medical Research Group
* EchoStar in its attempted acquisition of Hughes Electronics from General Motors
* Western Resources in its hostile bids for ADT and KCP&L
* Pharmacia & Upjohn in its merger with Monsanto, and Upjohn in its earlier merger with Pharmacia
* SITA S.C. in connection with Equant’s acquisition of GlobalOne and The SITA Foundation in selling its equity interest in Equant to France Telecom
* The Earthgrains Company in its acquisition by Sara Lee
* Newbridge Networks in its acquisition by Alcatel
* Grand Metropolitan in its merger with Guinness to form Diageo
Professional Activities and Community Involvement:
* Recently chaired the Practising Law Institute's conference on "going private" transactions, as well as their Hot Topic Briefing on "distressed acquisitions" and "unsolicited bids"
* Regular commentator on M&A activity and trends on Bloomberg Radio, Bloomberg TV, CNBC TV and Fox Business
* Chair-elect, Board of Trustees of The NALP Foundation for Law Career Research and Education
* Board of Directors of Dress for Success Worldwide
* Board of Trustees of Brooklyn Law School
* Board of Advisors of the Salvation Army of Greater New York
Rankings and Recognitions:
* The American Lawyer, "Dealmaker of the Year" (2009). Mr. Aquila was recognized for his representation of InBev in its unsolicited acquisition of Anheuser-Busch to form Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer. In its first-ever ranking of the Dealmakers of the Year, The American Lawyer ranked Mr. Aquila #7 among the 25 attorneys selected.
* The American Lawyer, "Dealmaker of the Week" (November 21, 2008)
* Recognized as a leading M&A lawyer in The Lawyer, Transatlantic Elite (2009, 2008)
* In demand as an author and lecturer on M&A and corporate governance, Mr. Aquila received The Burton Award for Legal Achievement 2005 in recognition of his article, "Back to the Future! Recent Hostile Bids Make Takeover Defenses Relevant" (The M&A Lawyer, April 2004).
* Featured twice in The American Lawyer, "Daddy’s Weekend on the Phone" (January 2002) and "Supersonic Lawyers" (May 2004)
* Featured in The Wall Street Journal, "Business Trips Leave Little Time for Luxuries" (May 31, 1996)
* Cited in Seeing the World Through Clients' Eyes (Nisus Consulting) as an advisor who had "really gone the extra mile and surpassed your expectations."
Mergers & Acquisitions:
* Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business (2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004-2005, 2002-2003, 2001-2002, 2000-2001)
* Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003-2004)
* Guide to the World's Leading Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyers, Euromoney Legal Media Group/International Financial Law Review (2008, 2006, 2001)
* The Definitive Guide to Europe's Leading Advisers: Are Your Advisers Giving You the Edge? (mergermarket)
* PLC Cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions Handbook (2009/2010, 2008/2009, 2007/2008, 2006/2007)
* PLC Global Counsel Mergers & Acquisitions Handbook (2005, 2004-2005, 2003-2004)
* PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook (2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003-2004, 2002-2003)
* New York Super Lawyers (2009, 2008, 2007, 2006)
* The Best Lawyers in America (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)
* PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook 2009
* PLC Cross-border Corporate Governance Handbook (2008/2009, 2007/2008)
* PLC Cross-border Directors' Duties and Liabilities Handbook (2009/2010)
Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity:
* The Best Lawyers in America (2010)