Hughes Hubbard & Reed enlists mergers and acquisitions specialist Constantine Petropoulos as a partner in New York City, as he advises on one of the largest blank check transactions ever.
Petropoulos has been a senior executive at several public companies, including nearly seven years as senior vice president and general counsel of Park Aerospace Corp. At Park, he led the sale of the company’s $ 155 million electronics business in December 2018.
Petropoulos “has been in mergers and acquisitions his entire career and brings the perspective of board governance to transactions,” said Ted Mayer, Chairman of Hughes Hubbard, in an interview. “We’re looking for people to contribute now who are the building blocks of the practice. “
Hughes Hubbard represents Grab Holdings Inc., a Singapore-based food transportation and delivery company, in connection with its merger with specialist acquisition company Altimeter Growth Corp. The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, will be one of the largest mergers ever involving a blank check company.
Mergers and acquisitions “are one of our absolute fundamental practices,” Mayer said. “We have been extremely busy with cross-border agreements and the like. “
The company’s president of mergers and acquisitions, Avner Bengera, stepped down on April 1 to become co-head of the cross-border transaction practice of Baker Botts in New York. The firm has also lost several other partners, including a team of seven lawyers led by its president of international trade practice, Joanne Osendarp, who decamped last year for McDermott Will & Emery.
Hughes Hubbard, who took out a loan from the federal paycheck protection program, laid off more than 30 people last summer, according to published reports. The company repaid the loan in full in the fourth quarter of 2020, Mayer said.
This year he hired sideways, including, earlier this month, specialist attorney Scott Naturman, of Covington & Burling, as a corporate partner in his New York office. In January, the firm hired Carlos Lobo, also for his M&A practice.
The firm also considers investigation, bankruptcy, litigation and aviation to be key areas. Hughes Hubbard advises United Airlines Holdings Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc. and major aircraft rental companies.
Petropolous, prior to his stint at Park Aerospace, worked as an in-house legal advisor at Scientific Games Corp. and Coca-Cola HBC SA in Europe. He had also been an M&A partner at Latham & Watkins in New York.
His five years in Europe, including working on issues related to the games industry for Scientific Games Corp., gave him a wealth of experience, Petropolous said in an interview.
“I learned what works for in-house legal counsel, boards of directors and senior executives,” he said.