Brian K. Groemminger

Experience

Counseled a Private Equity Fund in the Acquisition of an Industrial Property Portfolio

Client: Raith Partners

We represented a New York-based private equity fund in acquiring an industrial property portfolio comprised of fee simple and ground lease interests in the greater Akron, Ohio market. We were responsible for negotiating a purchase agreement, performing due diligence activities, including analysis of significant zoning concerns, obtaining tenant estoppels, assisting with the structure and commitment of the acquisition financing, including negotiation of all related loan and security documents, as well as ground lease, non-disturbance agreements.

Project Counsel to a Global High-Tech Manufacturer

Client: LAM/SILFEX

We served as project counsel to a global high-tech manufacturing company with respect to its acquisition and renovation of an existing industrial facility in Springfield, Ohio. Representation included negotiating an access agreement to facilitate a due diligence pre-start, negotiating a purchase agreement, performing due diligence activities, including zoning analysis, facilitating the procurement of state and local economic incentives, resolving title issues, closing the property acquisition, and post-closing advising the client as to annexation and rezoning of adjacent, undeveloped land.

Counsel Client in Fee to Trust Application under the HEARTH ACT

We worked extensively on document origination and preparation for Tribal Trust Land leasing matters in Michigan. These included Tribal code review and analysis, ground lease drafting and negotiation, preparation of a retail sublease template, HEARTH ACT research and analysis, and inclusion of related provisions in leasing documents. We also created necessary development and documents to facilitate land and planning components.

The Banks Project

Served as owner’s counsel to Nicol Investment Company on The Banks project on the downtown Cincinnati riverfront. Representation involves leasing and development matters with national and regional tenants, including first-to-market occupants, as well as the completion of one of the first vertical subdivisions in Hamilton County, Ohio, which distinguished as separate tax parcels the upper floor luxury apartments from the street level retail businesses.

Blackhawk Mining Acquires Patriot Coal Corporation

In October 2016, a transaction closed in which Blackhawk Mining (Blackhawk) purchased most of the assets of Patriot Coal Corporation (Patriot) out of bankruptcy. Dinsmore served as counsel to the acquirer, Blackhawk, who had previously purchased other portions of Patriot’s assets in 2014.

The acquisition resulted from Patriot filing bankruptcy for the second time in three years, which added several layers of complexity to the transaction. Many parties were involved in the deal, including among others, the sellers, lenders, creditors, lessors, suppliers, and the United Mine Workers of America, whose existing contract with Patriot was rejected and replaced with a new contract negotiated with Blackhawk. Blackhawk’s bid was selected as the stalking horse offer, but several other interested buyers submitted competing offers, and an aggressive auction process ensued.

The total value of the transaction approached $1 billion. In addition to a multi-tiered financing structure involving the issuance of new equity securities in Blackhawk and the restructuring of Patriot’s and Blackhawk’s prior loan facilities with over $900,000,000 in new debt, the deal involved the assumption by Blackhawk of substantial reclamation and other liabilities, the posting of new bonds with state environmental authorities, and agreements to perform reclamation work on mining sites purchased from Patriot by the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund.

“This was a very large and difficult transaction, which took months of work by numerous attorneys and staff in many departments and office locations,” said Susan Zaunbrecher, Corporate Department Chair. “The team of Dinsmore attorneys worked cohesively for our client, and, in the end, beat out a lot of impressive competition.”

Most of the six active mining complexes in the acquisition are located in West Virginia, with additional properties and mines in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Blackhawk saw the Patriot acquisition as an opportunity to expand its presence in the metallurgical coal market, as a complement to its prominent position as a producer of thermal coal.

“The demand for all coal is down significantly,” said Chauncey Curtz, Chair of the Natural Resources Group. “As a result of this deal, our client is well-positioned to survive the downturn and enjoy continued success as a low cost producer of both thermal and metallurgical coal for many years to come. That’s the most important thing to us.”