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  • The Changing Landscape of M&A

The Changing Landscape of M&A

  • 13 Jun 2023
  • 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Perkins Coie Office, 110 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL


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M&A in 2023- there's bit of turbulence ahead so fasten your seatbelts and please remain seated!

Working capital at a stress point with interest rates climbing on debt and a number of investors remaining on the sidelines. At the same time retailer prices are the highest they’ve ever been while COGs are still going down… so there are margins to be made for those that can power though.  Add a little Silicon Valley Bank to the mix, and it’s a full-fledged free for all! Come chat about the M&A in 2023 and see who’s bearish and who’s bullish on the conflicting signals the market is giving!


Steve Gaither, EVP of Growth Strategy, Io8

1o8, is a creative meets commerce agency for CPG that focuses on brand strategy, creative and digital performance marketing . Steve was the founder of JB Chicago, a CPG focused branding and creative agency in 2000 with a client roster that included Unilever, Goodbelly and Dish Network. Steve exited the agency to C.A. Fortune in 2019, where he ran the Branding unit and became CMO of the larger organization.  As a mentor at the Good Food Business Accelerator, ICNC, the Food Foundry, Chicagoland Food and Bev, and The Hatchery, his relationships with entrepreneurs led him to co-found the Windy City Troublemakers, an early-stage food meetup and Podcast. Steve was also a partner in Spiral Sun Ventures and Windy City Food Brands, where he and his fellow CPG experts provided the capital and go-to market strategies that help brands accelerate their growth.


Randy Bridgeman, M&A Lawyer & Business Legal Counselor, Perkins Coie

Randy Bridgeman represents businesses and their owners in sale transactions, acquisitions, strategic partnerships, and general corporate matters throughout a wide variety of industries. He frequently serves as the client’s primary outside counsel, quarterbacking all its legal matters and utilization of legal resources.  

Randy is the former firmwide co-chair of Perkins Coie’s Corporate & Securities practice, and with his more than 25 years in practice has extensive experience in representing privately held and family-owned businesses through the entirety of the sale process, providing owners advice on presale preparations, sale strategy and processes, tax planning and structuring, post-sale roles, and family succession, in addition to taking the lead legal role in the execution of the transaction.

Helana Robbins-Huddleston, CPA, CIRA, Partner, Manufacturing and Distribution Industry - Co-Leader, Transaction Advisory ServicesCohn Reznick

Helana provides transaction and related advisory services to clients in a range of different industries. She has over 22 years of expertise in financial due diligence, restructuring, cash flow budgeting, financial auditing, internal control evaluation, and business process improvement. In addition to her role in transaction advisory, Helana is the co-leader of CohnReznick’s Manufacturing & Distribution practice and is a member of the Firm's Private Equity and Venture Capital Industry Practice.

Alex Davisson, Venture Associate Food & Beverage, Plug & Play Tech Center

Alex is a chemical engineer by training and started his career out in Research and Development for a large branded food manufacturer in Chicago. He helped launch a range of products across a portfolio of brands included Angies Boom Chicka Pop, Slim Jim, Snack Pack and More. Currently, Alex leads Plug and Play's Venture team for Food and Beverage where he both invests in pre-seed/seed stage startups, and helps match Fortune 500 companies with innovative startups globally. 

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