PAUL CHOI is the global co-leader of the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions practice, co-leader of of the firm’s Public Company Advisory group, and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance transactions and securities and corporate governance matters.
In the mergers and acquisitions area, he focuses on public and private mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, spinoffs and joint ventures. His practice also includes counseling clients on takeover defense and proxy contests. Paul has advised on a broad range of mergers and acquisitions transactions, from small private transactions to public multi-billion dollar mergers. He has advised on dozens of public company merger deals, including representing First Data Corporation on its US$29 billion acquisition by an investor group controlled by KKR. He assisted eBay Inc. in its US$2.0 billion sale of Skype Technologies and represented Discover Financial Services in its US$600 million acquisition of The Student Loan Corporation. He advised International Game Technology in its US$6.4 billion sale to GTECH S.p.A. He represented Recall Holdings Limited in its cross-border US$2.6 billion sale to Iron Mountain Inc. He recently advised West Corporation in its US$5.1 billion sale to funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC.
Paul has also advised on numerous spinoff transactions, including First Data on its US$14 billion spinoff of the Western Union Company and the US$15.8 billion spinoff of Discover Financial Services from Morgan Stanley. Most recently, he advised on the US$10.2 billion spinoff of Yum China Holdings, Inc. from Yum! Brands, Inc., the US$3.2 billion spinoff of Apergy Corporation from Dover Corporation, the US$2.5 billion spinoff of Knowles Corporation from Dover Corporation, the US$2.0 billion demerger of Recall Holdings from Brambles Limited and the US$900 million spinoff of Herc Holdings Inc. from the Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. He also led the representation of KPMG LLP’s separation and spinoff of its global management and information technology consulting business and the subsequent US$2 billion initial public offering of that consulting business in one of the largest IPO’s of a consulting practice ever done.
His practice also includes representing clients in hostile takeovers, proxy contests and stockholder activism situations. He advised Barrett Resources in its response to Shell Oil Company’s hostile takeover attempt and the subsequent agreement by Barrett Resources to merge with The Williams Companies, Inc. for US$2.8 billion. More recently, he advised International Game Technology in a proxy contest by a stockholder activist, and he represented Commercial Metals Company in its successful defense against a US$1.7 billion hostile tender offer and proxy contest launched by Mr. Carl C. Icahn.
Other notable transactions include the representation of Andersen Worldwide, S.C., the Swiss coordinating body for the independent Andersen professional firms, on its global corporate matters and global wind-down.
In the corporate finance area, he has represented issuers and underwriters on dozens of private and public equity and debt offerings. These capital markets transactions have included a variety of initial public offerings, including subsidiary or “carve-out” offerings in the energy, technology, financial services and real estate sectors, and other acquisition financing transactions. His practice also includes private equity and debt offerings, Rule 144A transactions, and high yield debt, equity derivative and hybrid securities offerings. For example, he represented Caterpillar Inc. in US$4.5 billion of public offerings to finance its acquisition of Bucyrus International, Inc.
In addition to his transactional work, Paul advises public company clients on a broad range of corporate governance and general securities law matters, including Sarbanes-Oxley, board of director, fiduciary duty, audit committee, disclosure policy and related issues. He is a regular speaker at numerous seminars and conferences on topics relating to directors’ duties and M&A developments.
Paul was named by Crain’s Chicago Business in its annual “40 Under 40” list of leading Chicago area business executives and professionals. He is recognized as a Band 1 lawyer in Chambers USA (2023) for his Corporate/M&A work in Illinois. He has been ranked in the prestigious directory since 2003. He has been recognized in The International Who’s Who Legal: M&A and Governance, and is also a recommended lawyer for mergers and acquisitions work by Global Counsel 3000. Additionally, he has been recommended by The Legal 500 for Capital Markets: debt offerings and M&A: large deals. Paul has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for Corporate Governance Law, Corporate Law and M&A Law, and in their 2021 edition, he was named “Lawyer of the Year” for his work in Corporate Governance Law in Chicago.
Paul served as a law clerk to the Honorable Laurence H. Silberman on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 1989–1990.