Bruce K. Fenton is a partner in the Commercial Department of Pepper Hamilton LLP. He is chair of the firm’s Private Equity Practice Group and Investment Funds Industry Group. He serves as secretary of the Pepper partnership and is a former member of the firm’s Executive Committee.
Pepper Hamilton’s Investment Funds Industry Group is an interdisciplinary industry group comprised of more than 60 lawyers nationwide who focus their practices in areas vital to the success of all types of investment funds throughout their entire life cycle, including with respect to formation, transactional and investment, operational, and regulatory and compliance matters. The Funds Services Group provides fund formation, operations and compliance counseling to sponsors, managers, advisers, and investors from all over the United States, and globally. The group advises investment groups about the complex structuring, operational, and regulatory challenges they face on a daily basis in the investment management business.
Mr. Fenton concentrates his practice in private equity transactions. His practice includes mergers and acquisitions, and working closely with the firm’s leveraged finance lawyers on the related financing of those deals (both domestically and internationally), as well as private placements and general corporate counseling. He advises both investors and emerging growth businesses in connection with venture capital investments, and also structures and documents limited liability companies, partnerships and joint ventures.
In recent engagements, Mr. Fenton has advised sponsors of funds and other financial buyers (and their portfolio companies), as well as strategic buyers, in completing leveraged buyouts, management buyouts, recapitalizations, mergers, and asset and stock acquisitions; has represented numerous sellers of businesses to both financial and strategic buyers; has counseled companies on contracting, financing, licensing, outsourcing, capitalization, incentive equity, buy-sell, governance, fiduciary duty and other shareholder relations matters.
Representative transactions in which Mr. Fenton has participated include more than 20 “platform” acquisitions plus dozens more “add on” acquisitions and 10 dispositions across 4 funds for one private equity group, plus dozens of other transactions for multiple other private equity groups. In addition, Mr. Fenton has advised on many other transactions, including:
- sale of the largest U.S. aluminum extrusion facility
- purchase of North American producer and distributor of over 300 grades of specialty steel and alloys for use in aerospace parts, high performance cutting tools, aluminum casting dies, extrusion and thread roll dies and other applications
- purchase of global independent research business that provides forensic accounting, earnings quality, and legal research and solutions to institutional investors, underwriters, and other financial institutions
- purchase of wealth management advisor with approximately $3.5 billion in assets under management
- sale of a consulting and software development company
- investment in a company that develops real-time on-screen graphics, tickers, clock-and-score, virtual insertions and social media integration for live televised sport and entertainment events.
Additional representative transactions in which Mr. Fenton has participated include:
Mergers and Acquisitions
- acquisition and related financing by a private equity firm of the largest toothpick manufacturer in the United States
- acquisition and related financing by a private equity firm of a $350+ million international specialist life sciences company
- acquisition and related financing of a metal screw and fastener manufacturer by a middle-market private equity firm.
- disposition of a regional price-point retail chain in lieu of completing its IPO
- disposition of a major U.S. trucking company valued in excess of $230 million
- disposition of certain assets of one of the major steel producers in the United States
- acquisition of a $100 million gardening tools manufacturer for a NYSE-traded company.
- initial public offering of a global consulting firm specializing in corporate knowledge services
- initial public offering of a manufacturer of fractional and integral horsepower motors, gear motors and motor part sets
- initial public offering of a leading specialty retailer of upscale maternity clothing
- secondary public offering of one of the largest U.S. producers of sports picture cards and confectionary products
- $1.25 billion debt offering on behalf of one of the largest U.S. freight transportation companies
- subsidiarization of one of the largest U.S. defense computer contractors by one of the largest U.S. computer manufacturers, and the related spin-off of that subsidiary by initial public offering.
Mr. Fenton spent almost a decade as an adjunct professor at Temple University School of Law, teaching a class on U.S.-international business planning. He has written the text for a seminar on the differences between partnerships and joint ventures, and he has lectured on limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships. He also has published on the subject of boundary laws and disputes.
Mr. Fenton was selected for inclusion on the 2012 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list.
Mr. Fenton serves as chair of the board of councilors of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, one of the oldest historical societies in America and the repository of more than 21 million manuscript and graphic items encompassing more than 350 years of America’s history. He also is on the board of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), and has served as either a chapter committee chair, or an M&A East conference committee chair, for the past 5 years.