Co-Head of the Firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions Practice, Mario Ponce concentrates his practice on negotiated and hostile M&A transactions, proxy contests, restructurings and joint ventures. He regularly represents strategic clients, investment banks and private equity firms. He also advises boards on corporate governance matters, fiduciary duties and shareholder activism. During his more than two decades of experience in mergers and acquisitions transactions, Mario has been engaged in numerous high-profile matters, and his clients have included American Electric Power, Eaton Corporation, Ingersoll-Rand Corporation, JPMorgan Chase, KKR & Co., Newell Rubbermaid, Office Depot, PPL Corporation, Sears Holdings Corporation, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Xerox Corporation. Mario serves on the Board of Visitors of Duke Law School and lectures frequently on topics relating to his professional interests. He also serves as a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee.
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- Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in its $1.35 billion sale to JAB Holding
- ITC in its $11.3 billion acquisition by Fortis
- Walgreens Boots Alliance in its purchase of 1,932 Rite Aid Corporation stores for $4.157 billion
- Office Depot in its proposed merger with Staples, Inc.
- Ingersoll-Rand in the spin-off of Allegion plc and in its $10.1 billion acquisition of Trane
- Eaton Corporation in its $13 billion acquisition of Cooper Industries
PPL Corporation in its spin-off of Talen Energy and merger of Talen with entities affiliated with Riverstone Holdings
- Xerox Corporation in its $6.5 billion acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services
The Legal 500 United States
Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
Duke Law School Board of Visitors (2007–present)
Duke University School of Law, 1988 J.D.
University of Richmond, 1984 B.A.
summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa
Mario Ponce is a Partner in the Firm’s Corporate Department and serves as Co-Head of the Mergers and Acquisitions Practice and a member of the Executive Committee. His practice focuses on negotiated and hostile merger and acquisition transactions, proxy contests, restructurings, joint ventures and securities laws. He regularly represents strategic clients, investment banks and private equity firms. Mario also advises boards on corporate governance matters, fiduciary duties and shareholder activism.
Mario’s clients have included Allegion plc, Alpharma, Inc., American Electric Power, Aramark Corporation, Arch Coal, Beazer Homes, Becton Dickinson, C.R. Bard & Co., Consolidated Edison, Eaton Corporation, Emerson Electric Co., General Instrument Corporation, Georgia Pacific Corporation, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Ingersoll-Rand Corporation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Keyspan Corporation, KKR & Co., Lazard Frères & Co., MCI Inc., Newell Rubbermaid, Owens & Minor Inc., Office Depot, PPL Corporation, SBA Communications Corp., Teleflex Incorporated, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Willamette Industries, Inc. and Xerox Corporation.
Mario recently represented Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in its $1.35 billion sale to JAB Holding; ITC in its $11.3 billion acquisition by Fortis; Walgreens Boots Alliance in its purchase of 1,932 Rite Aid Corporation stores for $4.157 billion; Office Depot with respect to its proposed merger with Staples, Inc.; PPL Corporation regarding its spin-off of Talen Energy and merger of Talen with affiliated entities of Riverstone Holdings; Ingersoll-Rand in connection with the appointment of Nelson Pelz to the Ingersoll Board of Directors and the spin-off of Allegion plc, Ingersoll-Rand’s security businesses; Emerson Electric Co. regarding the disposition of its embedded computing and power business to Platinum Equity; Office Depot with respect to its merger of equals transaction with OfficeMax; and Teleflex Incorporated concerning its acquisition of LMA International NV. In recent years, some of his high-profile matters included the representation of Eaton Corporation in its acquisition of Cooper Industries PLC; Arch Coal, Inc., with respect to its acquisition of International Coal Group, Inc.; Bowne & Co., Inc. in connection with its merger with R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company; PPL Corporation in its acquisition of Louisville Gas & Electric from E.ON AG.; Kmart Holding Corp. in its merger with Sears, Roebuck and Co.; the going-private transaction of Aramark Corporation; Xerox Corporation in connection with its acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services, Inc.; and Ingersoll-Rand Corporation with respect to its acquisition of Trane, Inc.
Mario has been engaged in many significant defense matters, including the defense of Alpharma Inc. in connection with the hostile tender offer initiated by, and subsequent merger with, King Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; WCI Communities, Inc., regarding its defense of a proxy contest and hostile tender offer initiated by affiliates of Carl Icahn; Nautilus Inc. in its proxy fight with Sherborne Investors; Willamette Industries, Inc., with respect to the hostile offer and proxy contest initiated by Weyerhaeuser Company; and Kemper Corporation in its defense of the hostile offer launched by General Electric Capital Corporation.
Mario received his B.A., summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Richmond in 1984 and his J.D. with honors from Duke Law School in 1988. He serves on the Board of Visitors of Duke Law School and lectures frequently on topics relating to his professional interests.