Peter Ekberg

Peter Ekberg

Managing Partner, Minneapolis office
Peter’s experience covers a wide range of M&A matters across industries, jurisdictions and deal structures.

Peter Ekberg focuses his two decades of legal practice on mergers and acquisitions. He has acted as the lead lawyer on a multitude of completed M&A transactions.

Peter's experience covers a multitude of matters across a variety of industries, jurisdictions and deal structures. He has participated in the full life cycle of a company, from formation and public and private capital raising, to recapitalizations, restructurings, sales, and dissolutions. He also has extensive experience in corporate governance for both public and private companies.

Peter's M&A clients include acquirors, targets, and special committees. Among his recent engagements are representation of a Japanese company in its acquisition of a water filtration business in the United States, representation of a medical technology company in a late-stage venture investment by China-based healthcare funds, the acquisition of an educational testing company through a competitive auction process, and a large refinancing in connection with the acquisition of a UK-based business in support of a rollup strategy for a Canadian public company.

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  • Represented General Mills in connection with three acquisitions, two of which involved competitive bidding
  • Represented General Mills on corporate governance and internal strategic planning matters
  • Represented Malt-O-Meal over 6 years in multiple acquisitions, commercial contracting, joint ventures and a wide range of miscellaneous corporate matters
  • Represented Ardea Beverage (specialty drink manufacturer) as its principal outside lawyer in connection with its formation, capital raising, all commercial contracting and sale of the business
  • Principal outside lawyer for last 15 years for Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX), a designated contract market and designated clearing organization and futures exchange and the world’s largest cash, futures and options market for Hard Red Spring Wheat (principal and highest protein wheat grown fur use in foods such as breads and cereals)
  • Lead counsel for EVINE Live (f/k/a ShopNBC)) in connection with a response to an activist shareholder. Worked directly with board and senior leadership in developing strategy and legal response, prepared poison pill and other defense measures, and led the company response in a five-month proxy battle, which ultimately prevented the activist from obtaining a majority of company board seats and preserved the position of the Chief Executive Officer
  • Lead outside US counsel to Uni-Select Inc. (TSX: USI) in connection with its establishment and development of business operations in the United States, including establishment and growth of the automotive replacement parts division through more than 50 separate acquisitions. Lead outside counsel in connection with the sale of the automotive replacement parts distribution division in the US to an affiliate of Carl Icahn (US$500 million). Led the team in the acquisition of a large automotive refinishing paint business and assisted in the growth of that business through dozens of acquisitions, resulting in automotive refinishing paint business in the United States. Worked directly with General Counsel and Chief Executive Officer and advised board of directors
  • Counsel for joint venture relating to creation and development of (the online presence for Ralph Lauren). Represented ValueVision Media, Inc. (aka ShopNBC) as a party along with Polo Ralph Lauren and National Broadcasting Company as lead sponsor. Drafted and negotiated transaction documents and was involved with the initial launch of the website
  • Counsel to the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (designated contract market and futures exchange) in connection with corporate governance matters (including demutualization) and numerous licensing and service transactions relating to listing of futures products for various crypto-currency and options volatilities products. Work directly with the Chief Executive Officer and board of directors. Conduct annual board training and compliance program directly with board
  • Lead counsel to Spectrum Brands (NYSE: SPB) in connection with numerous acquisitions, corporate governance matters and significant commercial contracts. Acquisitions included numerous asset and stock purchases nationally and internationally. Worked with the General Counsel to update governance documents, put in place board training and policies, and develop responses to reports from Institutional Shareholder Services
  • Lombard Medical in the restructuring of its UK and European operations in a pre-packaged sale via an English law administration to MicroPort Scientific Corporation
  • Educational Testing Service in its US$127.5 million cash acquisition of Questar Assessment Inc., a leading K–12 assessment solutions provider focused on building a bridge between learning and accountability
  • J.D., Columbia University School of Law
    Editor-in-Chief, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law; Recipient, Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship, awarded by the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency for his work on international weapons manufacturing
  • B.S., United States Military Academy, West Point

Media Mentions

  • "DLA Piper Elevates 5 Attys To Office Managing Partner Roles," Law360, March 4, 2021

Prior Experience

Served as an officer with the United States Army in Europe (1992 and 1987-1990) and in combat operations in Southwest Asia during Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991)