Overview

Steve is the Chair of the Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group. His practice is international in scope. U.S. domestic companies and foreign-based multinationals doing business in the U.S. rely on him to meet their business challenges and to structure and efficiently execute their most critical strategic transactions.  Prior to assuming Senior Counsel status, Steve was a partner in the firm for 29 years and Chair of its Corporate Department for 15 years.

  • He has acted as lead counsel in many M&A transactions for Cookson Group plc, a London-based LSE-listed multinational with annual turnover in excess of $3 billion. Most recently, he advised Cookson on the sale to Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. of Cookson’s U.S. Precious Metals businesses, including subsidiaries in U.K., France, Japan, China, Hong Kong, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic.
  • Steve represents Paris-based multinational Ingenico Group [Euronext: ING], the global leader in payment solutions, with annual revenues in excess of $2 billion. Steve counseled Ingenico on its acquisition of Roam Data, Inc., a Boston-based emerging technology company in the mobile payments space. In a unique example of foreign direct investment in the U.S., the deal was executed in three steps, over a period of five years, beginning in 2009 with Ingenico’s purchase of a minority stake in Roam, followed in 2012 by Ingenico’s purchase of majority control of Roam, and culminating at year-end 2014 with Ingenico’s purchase of all remaining minority shares. Steve led the AP&S team in providing the structuring, regulatory, corporate law, securities law, tax and IP advice that enabled Ingenico to efficiently complete a transaction which gives it a platform for worldwide expansion into the emerging mobile payments market.
  • He routinely advises on sell-side engagements, representing the owners of privately-held and family-owned businesses being sold to both financial (private equity) and strategic acquirers, often within a private auction sale process led by an investment banker.  Most recently, he advised the owners of a Connecticut-based manufacturing firm on its sale to an Ireland-based company with manufacturing plants in Ireland, Poland, the US and Malaysia, and he counseled a family-owned Rhode Island manufacturer through a banker-led private auction sale process.
  • He represented a 100-year old, family-owned Rhode Island manufacturer in connection with its acquisition of a complementary business with operations in the US, Canada, Mexico and the PRC, resulting in the diversification of this industry-leader’s product offering.
  • Steve has acted as lead counsel in many M&A transactions for Precision Engineered Products Group, a global manufacturer and supplier of highly engineered components and devices for the medical, aerospace, automotive, and oil and gas industries. Most recently, he advised the Group on four separate acquisitions of manufacturing firms in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Illinois.
  • Steve advises Spectra Systems Corporation, a Providence-based emerging technology company which is listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and which develops and markets technology for marking and authenticating banknotes and other high value documents. Steve and his team represented Spectra in connection with its separate acquisitions of Canadian and New Jersey businesses which develop and market internal control systems for lotteries worldwide and, more recently, in connection with Spectra’s acquisition of the brand protection and tax stamps authentication business of a company based in Israel.
  • He advised a PRC-based solar energy company in connection with the US aspects of its proposed acquisition of a German-based, global solar project developer, including conducting due diligence over the US solar projects and navigating the foreign investment review scheme of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
  • He represented Alent plc, a London-based, LSE-listed global supplier of advanced consumable specialty chemicals and engineered materials used primarily in the electronics, automotive, and industrial end-market segments. He advised Alent in connection with the sale of its North American Stencils Business to StenTech, Ltd., an Ontario, Canada-based surface mount technology company.
  • He represented Greenbytes, Inc., one of Rhode Island’s premier emerging technology companies, in connection with its Series B venture capital funding by Generation Investment Management LLP, a London and NYC-based investment firm co-founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
  • Steve represented one of the world’s largest gaming companies in connection with its acquisition of a New York company whose software solutions serve the lottery markets.

Steve’s areas of concentration are:

  • mergers and acquisitions (U.S. domestic and international/cross-border)
  • foreign direct investment (FDI) in the U.S.
  • joint ventures
  • private equity
  • securities
  • venture capital
  • corporate governance
  • the needs of closely-held companies and family businesses, and resolution of shareholder disputes
  • licensing of intellectual property
  • general corporate and commercial law.

Chambers USA 2007 America’s Leading Lawyers for Business reports:
“Clients raved about Steve Geanacopoulos, who worked on various private equity matters: ‘He is a member of our strategic planning team as much as a legal resource—he offers invaluable commercial advice, interpreting the intricacies of the law in plain English, allowing you to make an informed decision.’ His main strength is building and developing client relationships and his personal qualities were also treasured: ‘He is outgoing and engaging but also a thorough listener and questioner—he is focused on getting deals completed and excellent at negotiating and diffusing situations.’”

Chambers USA 2009 America’s Leading Lawyers for Business reports:
“Stephen Geanacopoulos ‘is exceptional in the corporate and M&A environment,’ declare interviewees. He and the team have been advising a major U.K.-based multinational on all corporate matters, including a number of transactions.”

Chambers USA 2010 America’s Leading Lawyers for Business reports:
“Stephen Geanacopoulos is considered to be one of the state’s top business attorneys and handles a wide variety of matters. He is ‘pragmatic, proactive and gives good business advice.’”

Chambers USA 2018 America’s Leading Lawyers for Business reports:

Steve commands an excellent reputation for his counsel on M&A and private equity matters.  His substantial expertise encompasses a broad range of matters including venture capital, securities and corporate governance.  Sources highlight his proficiency in international matters and describe him as ‘very intelligent, experienced and resourceful.’”

Education

  • Boston College (J.D., 1979)
  • Dartmouth College (A.B., cum laude, 1974)

Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
Representative Matters

Steve led the AP&S team in the following engagements:

  • $250 million sale to Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. of the U.S. Precious Metals Business of a London-based, London Stock Exchange-listed multinational, including subsidiaries in France, U.K., Hong Kong, China, Japan, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic.
  • $50 million acquisition by a Paris-based, Euronext-listed multinational of a controlling interest in a Boston-based emerging technology company.
  • Acquisition of a Vancouver, British Columbia company by a Providence-based patent-rich technology company listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • $300 million private auction sale of worldwide non-core businesses of a U.K.-based multinational.
  • Representation of senior management team in connection with $610 million sale of a private equity portfolio company to a strategic buyer.
  • $30 million sale of a Rhode Island-based, family-owned precious metals business to a Florida-based private equity fund.
  • $14 million Series B venture capital financing of a Rhode Island emerging technology company by a London-based investment firm.
  • Representation of diverse manufacturers in negotiation of precious metals consignment facilities with a variety of European and Asia-Pacific precious metals lenders.
  • Distressed sale of U.S. subsidiary of Irish company in coordination with receivership proceedings in Ireland for the Irish company and its U.K. affiliate.
  • $90 million acquisition by a U.K.-based multinational of the assets of a Massachusetts-based competitor and the shares of its Hong Kong, China and U.S. Virgin Islands subsidiaries.
  • $110 million reorganization of a Massachusetts-based textile manufacturer designed to solve a dispute among the three family shareholder groups.
  • Acquisition by a French public company of a minority stake in a Boston-based start-up.
  • Acquisition by a Netherlands-based multinational of the assets of a Connecticut-based company.
  • Wind-up of U.S. subsidiary of a Swiss-based global manufacturer.
  • Strategic alliance between a U.K.-based multinational and a group of five companies in the US, Thailand and Israel.
  • $165 million sale of a U.S., China and Mexico-based manufacturer to a Providence-based private equity firm.
  • Reorganization of the U.S. holding company structure of a U.K.-based multinational, designed to achieve cross-border tax efficiencies.
  • Sale of a Swedish company and its U.S. subsidiary to a U.S.-based, publicly-traded strategic buyer.
  • Acquisition of a New Jersey software development company by a patent-rich technology company listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • $500 million precious metals consignment facility for a U.K.-based multinational listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Seminars / Publications
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act: A Survey of the Act’s Key Provisions and a Status Report on Ongoing Rulemaking thereunder as of June 5, 2003.
  • FDI in the US; Running the Gauntlet of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS): An M&A Case Study from the Vantage Point of a Foreign Acquirer of a “US Business”, AP&S CLE Seminar, May 2019.
  • Anatomy of a Cross-Border Technology Licensing Deal, AP&S CLE Seminar, June 2018.
  • Gatekeepers in the Age of New Governance, AP&S Annual Ethics Seminar, 2017.
  • Ethics For Business Lawyers, AP&S Annual Ethics Seminar, May 2015.
  • M&A Case Study: Selling a Business to a Private Equity Firm: What a Seller Should Expect from the Private Equity Playbook, May 2014.
  • London Calling: Why US Emerging Companies Raise Capital on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange, AP&S Seminar, May 2013.
  • Foreign Direct Investment in the U.S.: A Case Study with a Gallic Flair, AP&S CLE Seminar, June 2012.
  • Anatomy of a Private Equity M&A Deal: The Management Perspective, AP&S CLE Seminar, June 2011.
  • Death of Democracy or Vindication of Free Speech: A Discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Controversial January 21, 2010 Decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, AP&S CLE Seminar, June 2010.
  • “Resales of Securities,” American Bar Association’s Business Law Today, Volume 7, No. 2, November/December, 1997.
Honors
  • Recognized in Chambers USA America’s Leading Business Lawyers in the area of corporate/commercial law.
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013 – 2021 in the field of Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law. 
  • Professional Excellence in the Law, Business Law, Rhode Island Monthly 2019 and 2020.
  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for attorneys.
Martindale Hubbell
RI Monthly
Best Lawyers 2021
Professional Affiliations
  • 1975-76: Teaching Fellow, Athens College (Hellenic American Educational Foundation), Psychiko, Athens, Greece.
  • Member, American Bar Association and its Business and International Law Sections.
  • Member, Rhode Island Bar Association.
In the Community
  • Dartmouth College Alumni Council: Class of 1974 Representative (2010-2013).
  • Member of the Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee of the Dartmouth College Alumni Council (2013-2014)
  • Executive Committee of the Dartmouth College Association of Alumni (member, 2010-2021).

 

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