Varnum represented two of the top “Deal of the Year” honorees at the recent Deals and Dealmakers event presented by MiBiz. The annual event spotlights best practices and excellence related to mergers, acquisitions, capital formation and other types of deal making.
Varnum clients recognized at this year’s event included the following:
Acrisure LLC took top honors in the Finance/Banking category. The top ten global insurance brokerage and fintech company was recognized for the May 2022 completion of a $725 million Series B-2 Preferred Equity round, resulting in a $23 billion valuation for the company and representing a 31 percent increase from its last preferred equity raise in March 2021. Varnum acted as co-counsel to Acrisure in the matter, as well in the 2021 capital raise. The Varnum team was led by partners Seth Ashby and Mike Wooldridge and supported by associate Alex Campbell. Acrisure’s insurance brokerage arm is one of the fastest-growing in the world, closing on more than 500 acquisitions in the past five years. Varnum has served as legal counsel in almost all of these transactions.
Twisthink LLC was the top winner in the Technology category. The Holland-based digital consulting firm transitioned ownership to all of its employed team members via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), in a move designed to attract talent as well as provide ongoing tax advantages for further reinvestment in the growing company. The deal was notable because the owners clearly could have gone in another direction with regard to business succession that would have been more personally profitable. However, their primary goal was to provide the most stable environment for the longest period of time for the people who work for the company. Varnum represented the owners of Twishink in the matter. Scott Alfree, John Arendshorst, Katie Roskam and Ed Gusky led Varnum’s efforts in this representation.
According to MiBiz, the Deals and Dealmakers event is an effort to “recognize West Michigan’s top deals and dealmakers, showcase the best business practices that the region has to offer, and demonstrate how West Michigan punches well above its weight class.” More about the event and winners can be found here.