AlixPartners To Acquire Zolfo Cooper

Global consulting firm AlixPartners announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire independent financial advisory and interim management firm Zolfo Cooper. The proposed transaction follows AlixPartners’ 2015 acquisition of Zolfo Cooper’s European franchise, further bolstering the firm’s turnaround and restructuring credentials.

Zolfo Cooper’s management team and staff, based in New York and Los Angeles, will join AlixPartners, adding approximately 350 senior professionals, including 66 Managing Directors, under the AlixPartners brand.

Founded in 1981, AlixPartners specializes in helping businesses address their most complex and critical challenges. Its clients include companies, corporate boards, law firms, investment banks, private equity firms, and others. AlixPartners is headquartered in New York, and has offices in more than 20 cities around the world. Zolfo Cooper is a financial advisory and interim management firm established in 1985, dedicated to providing restructuring leadership to companies and their stakeholders.

The Willkie deal team was led by partner Adam Turteltaub and included partners Gregory Astrachan, Hillel Jacobson and Jordan Messinger and associate Morgan McDevitt.

OpenGate to Sell NAKAN to Westlake Chemical Corporation

Willkie’s Paris office advised OpenGate Capital on the contemplated sale of NAKAN, a global PVC compounding solutions business headquartered in France to Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE: WLK).

NAKAN has eight production facilities located in France, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain and Vietnam, as well as a research facility in France and application laboratory in the United States. NAKAN products are used in a wide variety of applications by customers in the automotive, building and construction, and medical industries.

OpenGate Capital acquired NAKAN in 2015, through the acquisition of Ivy Group, during the firm’s pre-fund, legacy investment period. Ivy Group, formerly known as Kem One Innovative Vinyls, was acquired through a French administration process that originated with a complex acquisition of Kem One SAS in 2014, a fully integrated upstream producer of PVC resins.

OpenGate Capital is a global private equity firm specializing in the acquisition and operation of businesses to create new value through operational improvements, innovation and growth. Established in 2005, OpenGate Capital is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with a European office in Paris, France.

Westlake Chemical Corporation is an international manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and fabricated building products. In 2017, it generated a turnover of over $4.4 billion. The company is the largest producer of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) in the US and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Willkie team was led by partner Lionel Spizzichino and included national partner Gabriel Flandin and associates Hugo Nocerino, Batiste Saint-Guily and Mathilde Vannson.

Mary Eaton To Receive American Bar Association’s 2019 Stonewall Award

Partner Mary Eaton has been selected to receive the American Bar Association’s 2019 Stonewall Award. The award is presented each year by the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to “a small group of distinguished individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in the legal profession, and/or to LGBT legal issues.”

Ms. Eaton has led Willkie’s pro bono representations on numerous important cases, several of which have established key precedents in the areas of LGBT rights. Notably, she led Willkie’s representation, as co-counsel with The Legal Aid Society and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, of a class of transgender Medicaid recipients diagnosed with gender dysphoria (“GD”), challenging a New York State regulation that banned Medicaid coverage for transgender health care (Cruz v. Zucker). Cruz led to a repeal of the ban and an amended regulation, which required Medicaid coverage for all medically necessary health care for individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria (GD).

The Stonewall Award is scheduled to be presented in January 2019 at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas.