Business owners, CEOs, and investors turn to Aaron Ghais when they need an attorney who can help them get a deal done, whether it’s buying, selling, or financing a business. Aaron specializes in representing mid-market companies that aspire to grow through acquisitions.
Aaron’s clients benefit from his ability to lead them successfully through the M&A process using his creative problem-solving skills, well-honed business sense, and results-oriented style. As a former “big firm” lawyer who now serves as Co-Chairman of the Firm’s Business and Financial Services Department, Aaron leverages the knowledge gained through almost 20 years of successfully completing complex transactions to accomplish his clients’ objectives and overcome their legal and business challenges.
Aaron has a national practice representing corporate, venture capital, and private equity clients in connection with a variety of transactional and securities matters. These include mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, exchanges, and joint ventures, as well as venture capital financings, securities offerings, debt financings, recapitalizations and other strategic transactions.
He has been involved in all phases of the transaction process, including structuring, negotiation, implementation, and ongoing post-transaction advice. Aaron also regularly advises clients on a wide range of corporate, securities and other business-related matters; often serves as outside general counsel to a number of his clients; assists entrepreneurs and start-up companies in connection with their formation and financing; advises boards of directors on various aspects of corporate governance; and represents funds that invest in early-stage and technology companies.
Often recognized for his thought leadership, Aaron is the author of “Getting Deals Done,” a blog addressing issues faced by those looking to buy, sell, and finance businesses. He authored the article "State Treatment of LLC Interests as Securities," which appeared in the Journal of Limited Liability Companies. While in law school, Aaron served as the student Managing Editor of The Business Lawyer, which at the time was a joint publication of the ABA's Section of Business Law and the University of Maryland School of Law. Aaron also speaks regularly on business law topics and current developments in the deal markets.
He is a member of the ABA's Section of Business Law and plays an active role in the Section's Mergers and Acquisitions Committee. Among other things, he has served on the ABA Subcommittee on M&A Market Trends and the ABA Subcommittee on Public Company Acquisitions.
Aaron spent six years at Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, D.C. before joining Shulman Rogers in 2007.
Aerospace & Government Contractors
- Represented an aerospace company and a special board committee in a merger with another aerospace company, with a transaction value of approximately $75 million.
- Represented stockholders of a successful cryptographic security company in the sale of their stock to one of the largest U.S. government contractors for $9 million.
- Represented a major U.S. aerospace company in the sale of an unincorporated division to one of the largest Brazilian aircraft manufacturers for $5 million.
Technology and Biotechnology
- Represented a publicly traded biotech company in the acquisition of a distressed competitor for approximately $10 million plus a large earnout.
- Represented a prominent biotech company in a series of preferred financing rounds and acquisitions.
- Represented, as outside general counsel, a number of middle market and early stage technology companies throughout the mid-Atlantic region and nationwide; and assisted many of those companies with private placement transactions.
- Represented a number of technology companies in the negotiation and creation of joint ventures.
Private Equity and Venture Capital
- Represented a prominent private equity firm in the acquisition of television broadcast stations from a well-known broadcast company for approximately $125 million; and assisted in the formation and funding of the acquisition vehicle.
- Represented another prominent private equity firm in the acquisition of a German software company for approximately $130 million; and assisted in the formation and funding of the acquisition vehicle.
- Represented a Maryland-based venture capital fund in numerous preferred stock investments in middle market and early stage companies, including, most recently, a $7 million preferred investment in a successful call-center business.
Media & Entertainment
- Represented a prominent media company in the acquisition of assets from the then largest Canadian newspaper company for $235 million.
- Represented two cable companies in the sale of their assets to two national cable company owners, for $530 million and $175 million, respectively.
- Represented an oil distribution company in a $30 million private equity financing and, subsequently, in the acquisition of eight competing companies for purchase prices ranging from $5-100 million.
- Represented a Wall Street investment fund in a $71 million tender offer for shares of a public real estate investment trust.
- Represented several financial advisory firms in their transitions to different banking institutions, and one financial advisory firm in the acquisition of an ancillary employee benefit practice.
- Represented a restaurant and hospitality company in the acquisition of a well-known restaurant chain for approximately $20 million.
- Represented a number of real estate companies in the negotiation and creation of joint ventures.
"Understanding How Buyers Think: Insights that can help you close more deals and make more money" (Exit Planning Exchange)
"How to Raise Money Without Giving Your Business Away" (The Power Conference)
"How to Sell Your Government Contracting Business for Top Dollar"
"Top 10 Legal Issues for Small Businesses"
“Don’t Get Burned by the Boilerplate”
- "Two Deal Terms Buyers Should Avoid Like the Plague"
- "Starting the Acquisition Process: A Handful of Quick but Critical Tips"
- "When to Consider Using Acquisitions as a Growth Strategy"
- "Lessons Learned: Buying a Financially Troubled Company"
- "Understanding How Buyers Think - Key Insights That Can Help You Sell Your Business For the Best Possible Terms"
- "Three Key Limits to a Buyer's Right to Recover When the Seller Breaches the Purchase Agreenment"
- "State Treatment of LLC Interests as Securities", Journal of Limited Liability Companies
Professional & Community Affiliations
- ABA Section of Business Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Committee, Member
- Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), Member
- Exit Planning Exchange (XPX), Member
- Tech Council of Maryland, Member