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Barbara Lano Rummel
Barbara Lano Rummel, Ballard Spahr

The POWER 30: Barbara Lano Rummel

Barbara Rummel has been practicing M&A and financing law for 32 years, particularly but not exclusively in Minnesota’s important life science industry.

She is the co-leader of Ballard Spahr’s national mergers and acquisitions practice group and serves on the firm’s expanded and elected boards.

Ballard Spahr is a strong player in the middle market, which is defined as companies having revenues between $10 million and $1 billion. She works on both strategic M&A deals, which means that a company is acquired to provide growth to the buyer, and deals that tend to be more for a shorter investment, sometimes involving private equity.

Coming off a very strong year, she, like other lawyers, cautions “It’s not 2021 anymore.”

Here’s what 2020-21 was like for Rummel.

She led team in representing a publicly-traded client in a series of strategic transformative transactions, including an acquisition by merger, change of corporate name and trading symbol on Nasdaq, a 1-for-4 reverse stock split, an offering of Series A preferred stock and warrants to institutional investors, a special pre-closing cash dividend of proceeds from the sale of its key legacy operating business, and the issuance to legacy shareholders of non-transferable contingent value rights that will entitle them to receive future distribution proceeds from the sale of company pre-merger assets.

Now, interest rates are touching the brakes, she said, along with situations across the globe.

“It’s the interest rates that are going to reflect deal making. Once there is greater clarity, M&A will pick up. Additionally, inflation and the labor shortage are affecting all clients. There is still uncertainty out of the China shutdown, and stress in Europe,” Rummel said.

The relationship between the client and the M & A attorney is critical, Rummel said. “It’s really about curiosity about the business. Any lawyer needs that curiosity to see what the client is trying to achieve.”