Michael J. Heller is the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cozen O’Connor. He chairs the Firm’s Board of Directors and serves on its Management Committee. Michael’s business, entrepreneurial, and investing experience arms him with a unique ability to manage the law firm in an ever-changing market and provide legal and business insight on a variety of complex client matters. He understands, first hand, the critical roles of modern executives.
Michael is a recognized leader in the representation of entrepreneurs and emerging growth companies and began his career as a young associate during the IPO craze of the late 1980s before joining Cozen O’Connor in 1994 as the firm’s first transactional lawyer.
An important element of Michael’s practice is making the necessary introductions to help clients raise capital and find joint venture partners, and he is constantly relied upon for his business acumen and investment instincts.
Michael is responsible for assisting clients in all industries and plays an active role from the formation and business planning stages to structuring and negotiating joint ventures and strategic alliances.
He also represents venture capital funds and angel investor groups in all forms of equity and debt capital-raising transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and beyond.
Michael is a frequent speaker on venture capital and entrepreneurism in the Mid-Atlantic region and is regularly quoted as a thought leader in local, regional and national publications. He is Chambers-ranked for Corporate Law – M&A and Private Equity.
Michael has significant personal business and investing experience, which differentiates him from his peers in the venture capital and private equity space. Michael was an early investor and continues to be a principal owner of Beachbody, LLC, the creator of the popular fitness programs P90X and Insanity, the leading health and fitness direct marketing company in the country. Michael was also one of the original principal owners of the Valley Forge Casino and Resort.
Michael is a member of the board of directors of a number of for-profit companies, including Beachbody, LLC, ESF Camps, and Hanover Fire and Casualty Co. He also sits on several nonprofit boards, including Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Villanova Law School, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technology (PACT).
Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Michael received his undergraduate degree in 1986, summa cum laude, from The Pennsylvania State University, and his law degree in 1989, magna cum laude, from Villanova University, where he was a law review editor and a member of the Order of the Coif.
- Represented Valley Forge Convention Center Partners, LP in its $280 million sale of Pennsylvania-based Valley Forge Casino Resort to Boyd Gaming Corporation, an American gaming and hospitality company. This transaction drew on the experience of Cozen O’Connor’s corporate, tax, real estate, litigation, and utility, environmental, and energy attorneys.
- Represented Wayne, Pa.-based Evolve IP, The Cloud Services CompanyTM, in connection with the $250 million sale of a majority stake in the company to Boston-based private equity firm, Great Hill Partners.
- Represented NewSpring Capital in connection with its $15 million Series E preferred stock Investment in IfByPhone, Inc. (d/b/a Dialogtech), a provider of a voice-based marketing automation platform, to fund IfByPhone’s acquisition of Mongoose Metrics, a provider of call tracking, measurement, and attribution software solutions.
- Represented a group of actively practicing physicians/minority owners in connection with their interests in the sale of Kremer Laser Eye Centers to a public company, TLC Vision Corporation. Our clients were only selling a portion of their stock and chose to invest in the successor company.
- Represented TL Ventures VII, LP in connection with its $5 million preferred equity investment in Square 1 Financial, Inc., a holding company and sole owner of Square 1 Bank, a commercial bank that provides banking service to venture capital funds and emerging growth companies.
- Represented Beachbody, LLC, a leading marketer of health and fitness programs and products (i.e., P90X, Insanity), in the growth capital investment by LNK Partners.
- Represented the Vetri Family of Restaurants in connection with its sale to Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN).
- Represented WWSC Holdings, LLC, one of the largest structural steel fabrication and erection companies in North America, in connection with the acquisition by Alleghany Capital Corporation of a majority interest in the company.
- Villanova University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1989
- Pennsylvania State University, B.S., summa cum laude, 1986
BAR ADMISSIONS : Pennsylvania; New Jersey
COURT ADMISSIONS :
- U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Board of Directors, Beachbody, LLC
- Board of Directors, Hanover Fire & Casualty Insurance Company
- Board of Directors, Villanova Law School
- Board of Directors, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania
- Board of Directors, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
- Board of Directors, Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technology (PACT)
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