Cuomo Counsel Returns to Jenner & Block: Business of Law

Jeremy M. Creelan, special counsel to New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, rejoined Jenner & Block LLP as a litigation partner in the firm’s New York office.

Creelan will work in its complex commercial litigation practice and government controversies and public policy litigation practice.

During his three-year tenure in Albany, Creelan worked on the state’s adoption of ethics reform including rules to limit executive compensation for organizations that do substantial business with the state, regulations to reduce alcohol-related driving accidents and mandatory collection of DNA from felons, according to the law firm. He also helped coordinate New York’s recovery effort following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

“Jeremy’s experience at the highest level of state government, coupled with his strengths as an incredibly talented and successful litigator, make him a superb addition to our litigation practice,” Jenner & Block managing partner Susan C. Levy said in a statement.

Creelan had helped open Jenner & Block’s New York office, Richard F. Ziegler, managing partner of the outpost, said in the statement. Ziegler said that “he is the fourth new partner to join us in the last few months,” including Neil M. Barofsky, the former special inspector general for the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program. Peter B. Pope, the former chief of the criminal division of the New York Attorney General’s Office and former executive director to two prior New York governors, is also a partner in Chicago-based Jenner’s New York office.

Lawsuit News

Cooper Tire Drops Merger With Apollo Tyres, Seeks Damages

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. said yesterday that it won’t be acquired by India’s Apollo Tyres Ltd., citing lack of financing for the transaction. The Findlay, Ohio-based Cooper Tire plans to pursue a “reverse termination fee,” Chief Financial Officer Brad Hughes said in a conference call.

The proposed merger had been on the rocks for months. Cooper said on June 12 that Gurgaon-based Apollo planned to buy the U.S. tiremaker for $35 a share in a $2.5 billion deal, then in October it initiated legal action to force completion of the purchase, saying executives at the Indian tire producer had “buyer’s remorse” and sought a price cut.

Apollo has claimed the U.S. company’s value declined partly because of potentially costly contract talks with the United Steelworkers union and difficulties getting financial data from Cooper’s Chinese partner, Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co., which opposed the deal.

“Apollo has made exhaustive efforts to find a sensible way forward over the last several months, however, Cooper has been unwilling to work constructively to complete a transaction that would have created value for both companies and their shareholders,” Apollo said in an e-mailed statement. “Cooper’s actions leave Apollo no choice but to pursue legal remedies for Cooper’s detrimental conduct.”

Cooper said it doesn’t believe it owes Apollo a $50 million termination fee for calling off the merger.

In a Delaware Chancery Court filing earlier this month, Cooper lawyer Stephen Norman said his company “intends to pursue this case as an action for damages.” And in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday, Cooper said Apollo “will not be relieved or released from liability for damages.”

The case is Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. v. Apollo (Mauritius) Holdings Pvt, CA8980, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

For more, click here.


Perkins Coie and Simpson Thacher Work on Blackstone-Crocs Deal

Crocs Inc. rose the most in more than four years after saying Chief Executive Officer John McCarvel will retire and Blackstone Group LP announced that it will invest $200 million in the maker of colorful plastic clogs.

Perkins Coie LLP represented Crocs and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP represented Blackstone.

The Perkins Coie team that represented Crocs was led by partner Jason Day and included partners Kester Spindler, Garland (Sonny) Allison and Kurt Neumann.

The Simpson Thacher team representing Blackstone includes mergers & acquisitions partner Peter Martelli and partner-elect Anthony Vernace, as well as tax partner Gary Mandel, executive compensation and employee benefits partner Greg Grogan and intellectual property partner Lori Lesser.

Crocs has been trying to revive its fortunes after consumers tired of its trademark clogs while knockoffs cut into sales and U.S. consumer spending slumped. The Blackstone stake comes after Crocs attempted to find a buyer for the whole company, people familiar with the situation said in November.

The shoemaker said in a statement Dec. 29 that it will use the funds from Blackstone’s investment in convertible preferred stock to increase share repurchases to $350 million. McCarvel will step down on or about April 30. The company had been unable to buy back stock while negotiating the transaction and expects to begin repurchases in the first quarter, Croc Chief Financial Officer Jeff Lasher said in the statement. Those buybacks will reduce publicly traded common stock by about 30 percent, he said.

Peter Rose, a spokesman for Blackstone, didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

McCarvel, who took the helm in March 2010, expanded the company’s products to include other styles of footwear and opened new stores. The board has begun an outside search for his replacement, and Lasher said the process is in the early stages.

For more on the deal, click here.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.