Levenfeld Pearlstein’s niche national practice Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are tax-advantaged employee ownership devices for middle market businesses. LP regularly represents existing owners in sales to ESOPs as well assisting ESOPs in regulatory compliance. According to David Solomon, chair of the Corporate group and head of the ESOP practice, in 2016, Levenfeld Pearlstein's ESOP group closed more than 20 transactions involving the sale of companies to their employees. This transactional pace is now on par with levels before the Great Recession, reflecting the return of strong valuations for and financeability of middle market companies.
Accounting firm mergers is another practice area in which the LP Corporate group specialzes. According to partner Russell Shapiro, the record high volume of US accounting firm mergers that LP handled in 2015 continued into 2016 and is likely to taper only as targets become scarcer.
All the while, according to the MSI liaison Steven Weiss, the firm’s general M&A practice has eclipsed pre-recession levels, driven by private equity and strategic clients reentering the middle market.
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