Neill P. Jakobe
Neill Jakobe is a member of Ropes & Gray’s governing Management Committee, having previously served as co-head of its global Private Equity practice and head of the Chicago office. Focusing on private equity buyouts and strategic M&A, Neill has helped steer an international roster of clients through complex deals ranging in size from tens of millions to billions of dollars. Neill’s global client base includes the sponsors listed below, in addition to BDT Capital, McNally Capital, Mitsubishi, Xerox, Takeda, Hershey and others.
Neill offers clients rare insight into the dealmaking process. In addition to his legal experience structuring, negotiating and closing complex deals, Neill has firsthand transactional experience from his work as an investment banker with the Financial Sponsors Group at Morgan Stanley. He has evaluated acquisitions from a financial perspective, developed financial models, arranged equity and debt financing, and worked on a number of transactions (including IPOs, LBOs and other M&A) on the finance side. Neill’s understanding of the business side of a deal allows him to anticipate his clients’ needs throughout the life cycle of a transaction and take a pragmatic approach in complex negotiations.
Neill’s earlier experience as a securities litigator also benefits clients with corporate governance issues, as he can help identify and analyze the types of securities issues that often lead to litigation in this era of shareholder activism and an activist plaintiffs’ bar. Early in his career, Neill was a member of litigation teams handling high-profile securities fraud matters, including a number of actions arising from the bankruptcy of Enron.
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Michigan Law School, Neill has lived and worked in the Midwest for the last 15 years, and he possesses an in-depth knowledge of the region’s private equity and venture capital communities.
- Represented Baring Private Equity in most of its North American and majority of global transactions, including recent take-private of Virtusa Corporation, acquisition of Citius Tech, acquisition of NIIT, carve-out of Telus’ BPO business, acquisition and pending sale of St. George’s University, acquisition of Lumenis and subsequent carve-out sale of Lumenis’ surgical business to Boston Scientific.
- Represented GHO Capital in all of its North American platform acquisitions and many of their recent global transactions, including the recent acquisition of Envision Pharmaceuticals and Velocity Clinical.
- Represented Centerbridge and The Vistria Group in their acquisition of Help at Home, Adaptive Health, Civitas, and separately has represented Vistria on a number of Healthcare and other transactions.
- Represented Bain and Blackstone in their sale of the digital business of The Weather Company to IBM, its majority equity funding of Quva Pharma Inc. and acquisition of 503B assets from Healix Inc.
- Represented Cressey and Company in most of its recent transactions, most recently including the sale of PurFoods, sale of Statlab, sale of VetCor and a number of acquisitions (D4C, Statlab, Purfoods, VetCor, PPV and others), also in its sale of Strategic Healthcare Programs to Roper Industries.
- Represented BV Investment Partners in a number of matters, including the sale of Butterfield Fulcrum group and FORS Limited, investment in and sale of Critical Mix, investment in geoLogic systems, investment in C-4 Analytics and investment in and sale of Civic Plus.
- Represented Mitsubishi Bank and its affiliates in a variety of transactions, including the acquisition of Meridian Fund Services Group, acquisition of UBS Global Asset Management's administrative funds business, Guggenheim's 40 Act fund administration business, and Neuberger Berman's private equity fund administration business.
- Represented McNally Capital in its acquisition of ITS Logistics, acquisition of Dedicated Computing, investment in Genesys Aerosystems and investment in Europa Sports Products, among other matters.
- Represented GI Partners on Aras, Daxko, Clinical Ink and other matters.
- Represented The Hershey Company in its acquisition of Pirate Brands Group.
- Represented Jacobs Holding AG in its acquisition of North American Dental Group.
- Represented Pfingsten Partners in its acquisition and sale of Allied Reliability Group, sale of Technibus Inc. and acquisition of Crane 1 Services.
- Representing HealthSouth Corp. in its acquisition of CareSouth Health System Inc., a private provider of home health services.
- Represented Coca Cola Bottling Company in its acquisition of bottling assets and territory rights from Coca Cola Company in Northern Florida, Central Florida and Southern Florida.
- Represented Cardinal System Holdings in its acquisition of Ag-Pro Texas.
- Representing Biomet, Inc. in its sale to Zimmer Holdings, Inc. for $12.35 billion.
- Represented Nypro, Inc., an employee-owned manufacturing company, in its $665 million sale to Jabil Circuit, Inc.
- Represented Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and CareSpot in their roll-up of urgent care centers, investment in Renal Advantage, sale of Renal Advantage to Liberty Dialysis, investment in CareSpot and sale of CareSpot.
- Represented TPG in its acquisition of Immucor, Inc., a leading provider of instrument-reagent systems to the blood transfusion industry, and sale of Fenwal to Fresenius Kabi. Represented Immucor in its acquisition of the Lifecodes business from Hologic and acquisitions of Sirona, Organ-I and Sentilus.
- Profiled, “Midwest Trailblazers,” The American Lawyer (April 6, 2021)
- Featured, “In Their Own Words With Ropes & Gray’s Neill Jakobe,” WSJ Pro Private Equity (October 4, 2020)
- Featured, “Private Equity Group Of The Year: Ropes & Gray,” Law360 (January 28, 2020)
- Quoted, “Private-equity firms are awash in cash. Now what?,” Crain’s Chicago Business (January 10, 2020)
- Quoted, “3 Types Of PE Funds Attys Can Expect To See More Of In 2020,” Law360 (January 1, 2020)
- Quoted, “For Law Firms, a Deep Dive Into Private Equity Can Be Lucrative,” The American Lawyer (January 15, 2019)
- Quoted, “Growth stories: Lessons from four growing firms,” Chicago Lawyer (March 2018 issue; online and in print)
- Featured, “Ropes & Gray Taps PE Leader As Chicago Office Head,” Law360 (November 22, 2017)
- Featured, “Ropes & Gray Names Private Equity Partner to Helm its Chicago Office,” Chicago Tribune (November 21, 2017)
- Profiled, “Ropes & Gray names new managing partner,” The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (November 17, 2017)
- Quoted, “Deal Makers Buoyed After JPMorgan Forum Despite Clouds,” Law360 (January 13, 2017)
- Quoted, “PE Deal Volume Falling As Funds Struggle To Compete,” Law360 (November 19, 2015)
- Quoted, “Second Half PE Forecast: Get In While It’s Hot,” Law360 (July 8, 2014)
- Co-author, “A favourable market for sellers,” Financier Worldwide (June 2014)
- Panelist, “Navigating Reimbursement and Costs in Healthcare,” Kayo Private Equity Summit (October 3, 2018)
- JD, cum laude, University of Michigan Law School, 2002; Awarded Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) Fellowship with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
- BA (Finance and Business Economics), cum laude, University of Notre Dame, 1998; Dean's List, Honors from College of Business Administration; Member, Notre Dame Club of Chicago ; Notre Dame Alumni Advisor
Admissions / Qualifications
- Illinois, 2002
- The American Lawyer: Midwest Trailblazer (2021)
- Legal 500: M&A (2015, 2018, 2020)
- IFLR1000: Rising Star (2016-2021); Highly Regarded (2022)
- Chambers USA: Recognized Practitioner, Corporate/M&A (2015); Up and Coming, Corporate/M&A (2016-2017); Band 4, Corporate/M&A (2018-2020); Band 3, Corporate/M&A (2021)
- M&A Advisor: 40 Under 40 Emerging Leaders (2015)