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“Phil Koutnik and his broad-based team understand our business intimately, from regulatory compliance all the way down to our corporate voice and philosophy. Phil takes representation beyond credentials, demonstrating commitment and unwavering fortitude, culminating in our ability to make informed decisions.”

Dan Wycklendt, Executive Vice President, FirstPathway Partners LLC

Overview

Phil appreciates the value of long-term relationships and takes time to understand clients’ businesses and goals. In doing so, he consistently becomes not only a legal advisor but also a business partner.

Although Phil’s practice focuses on mergers, acquisitions and related business transactions, he often takes on the role of general counsel, offering strategic guidance on day-to-day business issues. In addition to M&A work, Phil regularly advises clients on debt and equity capital transactions, recapitalizations, alternative financing arrangements, early stage and growth capital transactions, general corporate matters and commercial contract negotiations. He also advises clients on cross-border transactions, using a network of global professionals with whom he has developed strong working relationships.

Phil counsels closely held businesses, private equity funds, public and private companies, family offices, holding companies, entrepreneurs, angel and venture capital groups, strategic purchasers, and banks and non-bank lenders. Earlier in his career, Phil also developed significant experience representing dentists and physicians in all forms of corporate and transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and hospital affiliation transactions. Phil continues to represent clients in this space today.

“Phil Koutnik and his broad-based team understand our business intimately, from regulatory compliance all the way down to our corporate voice and philosophy. Phil takes representation beyond credentials, demonstrating commitment and unwavering fortitude, culminating in our ability to make informed decisions.”

Dan Wycklendt, Executive Vice President, FirstPathway Partners LLC


Industry

Services

Recognition

  • Chambers USA, Corporate/M&A, Up & Coming, 2020
  • Milwaukee Business Journal, 40 Under 40, 2018
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Corporate Law, 2018-2021; Mergers and Acquisitions Law, 2019-2021
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2013-2018

Education

  • J.D., Marquette University Law School
    • cum laude
    • Marquette Law Review, Associate Editor
  • B.A., Marquette University
    • magna cum laude

Admissions

  • Wisconsin

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • American Bar Association
Featured Experience

Family-Owned Business Sold to Publicly Traded Company

When the husband-and-wife founders and owners of the Angelic Bakehouse, a premium bakery with national distribution, sought to sell their company, they turned to Phil and the team at Husch Blackwell, based on the firm’s strong reputation in merger and acquisition deals. The team became involved in the initial offer stage; negotiated the term sheet and letter of intent; navigated complex corporate, real estate and tax issues; and structured the transaction in a way that ultimately achieved a great result for both the seller and buyer.


Additional Experience
  • Represented Associated Banc-Corp in connection with the sale of its subsidiary, Associated Benefits & Risk Consulting, to USI Insurance Services in a transaction valued at approximately $265 million.
  • Represented large UK-based technology solutions provider in strategic acquisition of publicly traded company with operations in United States and United Kingdom.
  • Represented Riverside Foods, a third-generation manufacturer of premium appetizer and seafood products, in its sale to strategic purchaser.
  • Guided strategic purchaser in navigating auction bid process and closing merger transaction valued in excess of $250 million.
  • Represented private equity fund company in its acquisition of print and digital media company with operations in the United States and Ireland.
  • Represented non-bank lender and private equity fund company in several mezzanine debt and equity transactions, including in connection with new BMO Tower in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and luxury hotel development in Anaheim, California.
  • Represented publicly traded bank in acquisition of insurance brokerage and consultancy firm in transaction valued in excess of $50 million.
  • Participated in restructuring of country's second-largest ductile iron foundry, focusing primarily on related asset sales and transactions, the aggregate size of which exceeded $100 million.
  • Represented German-based equipment manufacturer in long-term global supply contract with Fortune 100 company.
  • Represented healthcare technology company in strategic acquisition of software business.
  • Advised European holding company on acquisition of Wisconsin-based industrial oven manufacturer.
  • Counseled EB-5 sponsor on day-to-day general corporate, transactional, fund structuring and securities matters.
  • Represented Milwaukee-based private equity group in several portfolio company acquisitions and related financing arrangements.
  • Advised on dozens of purchase and sale transactions, including acquisitions for several family-office holding companies with operations throughout the Midwest.
  • Served as issuer's counsel in $300 million high-yield debt offering, including related tender offer for $185 million of company's outstanding high-yield notes.
  • Represented numerous medical and dental professionals in corporate and transactional matters.
  • Drafted and negotiated long-term domestic and international supply agreements for clients with operations throughout the world.
  • Advised clients on formation of limited liability companies, corporations and other business entities, including nontraditional joint venture arrangements.
Case Studies
Associated Banc-Corp

Long-time client Associated Banc-Corp approached our team in late March 2020 regarding the potential sale of Associated Benefits & Risk Consulting (ABRC). We had assisted Associated in building the unit over the previous decade, having worked on numerous acquisitions that turned ABRC into the 36th largest broker of U.S. business providing employee benefits, retirement plans, compliance, business insurance, risk management and individual insurance solutions. When the time came for Associated to monetize that investment, our team had the deep knowledge of the business needed to make things happen.

Speaking Engagements | July 14, 2020 and July 28, 2020
Speaker, "M&A Master's Training Program: Due Diligence Best Practices"
News Releases | August 15, 2019
Husch Blackwell Places 143 Lawyers in 2020 BL Rankings' Best Lawyers in America®

The firm has eight "Lawyers of the Year" and 11 attorneys appearing on the list for the first time.

News Releases | November 13, 2018
32 Husch Blackwell Attorneys Named to 2018 Wisconsin Super Lawyers/Rising Stars

Husch Blackwell has 32 attorneys named to the 2018 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

News Releases | August 15, 2018
Husch Blackwell Places 143 Lawyers in 2019 BL Rankings' Best Lawyers in America®

The Best Lawyers in America® has listed 143 Husch Blackwell attorneys in its 2019 directory. The firm has eight "Lawyers of the Year" and five attorneys appearing on the list for the first time.

News Releases | January 11, 2018
Husch Blackwell's Koutnik Named to Milwaukee Business Journal 40 Under 40

Milwaukee Business Journal recognizes Philip Koutnik as an up-and-coming leader.

Outside the Office

Much of Phil’s time is devoted to his wife and young daughter.

He occasionally manages to indulge his passion for golf, playing near home in the summer and escaping to warmer climates periodically during the winter months.

Phil is also an avid snow skier.

Community Leadership
  • Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) Fund, Emerging Leaders Board
  • Westgate Cups Ltd., Advisory Board
  • Public Policy Forum, Board of Trustees, Former Member
  • National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin, Board of Directors, Former Member
  • Early Music Now, Board of Directors, Former Member
  • Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Guardianship Clinic
  • Emerging Companies, Pro Bono Contributor

Mergers and Acquisitions

Phil works with public and private companies on mergers and acquisitions, serving as both a business advisor and legal counselor. Clients appreciate having someone in their corner who thinks like a business owner, spots issues before they arise and counsels them along the way. Phil is practical with his advice, understanding that each client’s risk tolerance is different, and he is known for getting deals done efficiently. 

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