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Ajay B. Lele


Ajay B. Lele

Mergers & Acquisitions
New York

Advises on all aspects of M&A, including public and private company transactions, private equity transactions, joint ventures and corporate governance matters.

With more than two decades of experience, Ajay advises on all aspects of mergers and acquisitions, including public and private company transactions, private equity, joint ventures, carve-outs, M&A aspects of insolvency and restructuring matters, cross-border transactions, commercial agreements, corporate governance advice and securities law advice.

His clients span U.S. and multinational organizations in multiple industries, including banking and finance, tech, media and telecom, energy and infrastructure, healthcare, and consumer products and retail.

Experience highlights

  • FirstGroup’s pending sale of First Student and First Transit to EQT Infrastructure
  • Heineken in the acquisition of the second-largest beer company in Brasil from Kirin
  • Varagon Capital Partners in a strategic partnership transaction with Aflac and AIG
  • Dyal Capital Partners in its strategic minority investments in LibreMax Capital, Atalaya Capital Management and Sound Point Capital
  • Sterling Equities on various matters relating to the New York Mets
  • Various lenders in connection with M&A, governance and related aspects of the following bankruptcies:
    • Murray Energy
    • GenOn
    • Harvey Gulf International Marine
    • Cooper-Standard
  • Sheltered Harbor LLC, an industry-led not-for-profit organization operated under the auspices of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), on its formation and related transactions
  • Axel Springer SE in its acquisition of eMarketer Inc.
  • Lockheed Martin in its acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft
  • Citigroup in the establishment of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and related transactions
  • Bertelsmann in the formation of Penguin Random House with Pearson plc and subsequent transactions pursuant to which Bertelsmann acquired 100% ownership
  • Smith & Nephew on the formation of Bioventus, a joint venture with Essex Woodlands Healthcare Partners and related transactions
  • Comcast on the strategic investments by NBCUniversal in BuzzFeed and its acquisition of TechTV
  • Banco Santander in its $3.1 billion exchange offers to acquire additional equity of Banco Santander (Brasil) S.A.
  • Sterling Financial Corporation in its $2 billion merger with Umpqua Holdings Corporation
  • Strategic Growth Bank and Strategic Growth Bancorp in their merger with Sunflower
  • Financial to form FirstSun Capital Bancorp
  • Deltic Timber in its merger with Potlatch
  • Murphy Oil Corporation in the sales of its Meraux, Louisiana refinery to Valero and its Superior, Wisconsin refinery to Calumet Specialty Products Partners
  • Morgan Stanley in the $1.5 billion sale of Van Kampen to Invesco
  • Limited Brands in the divestitures of Express and Limited Stores
  • Patriot Coal in its acquisition of Magnum Coal
View more experience


J.D., Yale Law School
B.S.E., Industrial Engineering, Arizona State University
  • summa cum laude

Professional history

  • Davis Polk since 2000

Qualifications and admissions

  • State of New York
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