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Kai Haakon E. Liekefett

Kai Haakon E. Liekefett Partner, Mergers & Acquisitions and Capital Markets

Kai is the Head of V&E’s Shareholder Activism Response Team and a corporate partner with 15 years of experience practicing law in New York, Houston, London, Germany, Hong Kong and Tokyo. He has extensive experience advising companies on proxy contests and other shareholder activism campaigns.  Moreover, Kai represents domestic and international companies as well as financial advisors in connection with public and private mergers & acquisitions, with a special focus on hostile M&A transactions.

Experience Highlights

  • Crest Financial Limited in its proxy contest against the merger of Clearwire Corporation with Sprint Nextel Corporation, resulting in an increase of the merger consideration of approximately 70% from $2.97 to $5.00, valuing Clearwire at $14 billion
  • Omega Protein in its proxy contest defense against Wynnefield Capital 
  • Stratus Properties in its proxy contest defense against Carl Berg 
  • VAALCO Energy in its proxy contest defense against Group 42 and BLR Capital Partners
  • Ciber in its proxy contest defense against Lone Star Value
  • Endeavour International Corporation in its proxy contest defense against the Talisman Group
  • Westlake Chemical Corp. in its unsolicited $1.2 billion takeover offer for Georgia Gulf Corp

Shareholder Activism

  • Crest Financial Limited in its proxy contest against the merger of Clearwire Corporation with Sprint Nextel Corporation, resulting in an increase of the merger consideration of approximately 70% from $2.97 to $5.00, valuing Clearwire at $14 billion
  • Omega Protein in its proxy contest defense against Wynnefield Capital 
  • Stratus Properties in its proxy contest defense against Carl Berg 
  • VAALCO Energy in its proxy contest defense against Group 42 and BLR Capital Partners
  • Ciber in its proxy contest defense against Lone Star Value
  • Endeavour International Corporation in connection with activist activity by Steelhead Partners, O-Cap Management and Lone Star Value
  • Oil States International in connection with activist activity by JANA Partners
  • Dakota Plains in its proxy content defense against Lone Star Value
  • Old Point Financial in its proxy contest defense against PL Capital 
  • Investors Title in connection with the activist campaign by Groveland and GrizzlyRock Capital 
  • SciQuest in connection with the with the Schedule 13D of The Discovery Group 
  • O2Micro International in connection with the activist campaign by Lone Star Value
  • Conn’s in connection with activist activity by Luxor Capital and Greenlight Capital
  • Gastar Exploration in connection with activist activity by Kleinheinz Capital Partners
  • Miller Energy Resources in its proxy contest defense against Bristol Capital and Lone Star Value

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Inergy, L.P. and Inergy Midstream, L.P. in an $8 billion multistep combination transaction with Crestwood Midstream Partners LP and Crestwood Holdings LLC
  • Energy XXI in its $2.3 billion acquisition of EPL Oil & Gas Inc., creating the largest publicly traded independent oil and gas producer on the Gulf of Mexico Shelf
  • Evercore Partners as Kinder Morgan Inc.’s financial advisor in Kinder Morgan’s $38 billion acquisition of El Paso Corporation, creating the largest midstream and the fourth largest energy company in North America
  • Citigroup as LinnCo’s financial advisor in LinnCo’s and Linn Energy’s $4.9 billion acquisition of Berry Petroleum
  • Global Industries in the $937 million sale of the company, a publicly traded subsea solution provider, to Technip 
  • Holly Corporation in its $7 billion merger with Frontier Oil Corporation, creating one of the largest independent refiners in the United States
  • Vanguard Natural Resources in its $748 million acquisition of oil and gas company Encore Energy Partners from Denbury Resources, creating one of the largest upstream MLPs

Contact Details

T +1.212.237.0037
kliekefett@velaw.com
666 Fifth Avenue
26th Floor
New York, NY 10103-0040
Local time: 1:52 PM
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Kai's Practices

  • Columbia University School of Law, LL.M., 2006 (James Kent Scholar)
  • University of Freiburg Law School, Ph.D. magna cum laude, 2004
  • University of Muenster Business School, Executive MBA summa cum laude, 2003
  • Second Legal State Exam, North Rhine-Westphalia, cum laude, 2004
  • First Legal State Exam, Lower-Saxony, magna cum laude, 2000
  • Admitted to practice: Düsseldorf; New York; Texas
  • Other languages: German (fluent)
  • Corporate Associate, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, 2006–2011
  • Judicial Clerk at the Higher Regional Court, Düsseldorf, Germany, 2002–2004
  • Legal Trainee, Hengeler Mueller, Düsseldorf, Germany, 2003
  • Legal Trainee, Linklaters in Düsseldorf, London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, 2000–2004
  • Chambers USA, Corporate/M&A: Takeover Defense (New York), 2017
  • Member: Harvard Roundtable on Corporate Governance; American Bar Association; New York City Bar Association; Texas State Bar Association
  • Board member: M&A Alumni Germany e.V.