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Professionals

Franklin K. Jelsma

Managing Partner

P 502-562-7285 F 502-589-0309

500 West Jefferson Street
Suite 2800
Louisville, KY 40202

 

Franklin K. Jelsma is the Firm's Managing Partner, and a member of Wyatt's Corporate & Securities Service Team.  Mr. Jelsma concentrates his practice in the areas of general business law, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and venture capital transactions. 

Franklin K. Jelsma

Location

500 West Jefferson Street
Suite 2800
Louisville, KY 40202

Representative Matters

  • Ongoing representation of a diverse holding company in numerous M&A transactions over last decade, including: acquisition of regional stock brokerage firm, purchase of fashion eyeglass company, acquisition of juice concentrate business, purchase of fencing and supply business, acquisition of insurance agencies and formation of a health maintenance organization.
  • Ongoing representation of venture capital fund focused on early-stage and growth investments. As part of this representation, negotiated, documented and closed dozens of preferred stock financings, including initial Series A rounds, follow-on financings, down-round financings and liquidity events. This work includes advice on corporate governance and conflict of interest issues, compliance with securities laws, crafting management incentive plans and employment agreements. Also representation of portfolio companies, advising on equity and debt financings, strategic partnerships, corporate governance issues, customer contracts and day-to-day corporate matters.
  • Representation of numerous entrepreneurs and families in the sale of privately held businesses to strategic buyers and private equity backed buyers. These businesses include high tech data management, smart cards, radio stations, home appraisers, community newspapers, auto parts suppliers, industrial cleaning and restaurant concepts.
  • Representation of seller of tobacco business to London based buyer for $1.9 billion.
  • Ongoing representation of large and diversified family owned manufacturing and service business in day to day corporate matters as well as numerous acquisitions and sales of business units.
  • Representation of entrepreneur in sale of high end skincare business to global conglomerate.
  • Representation of construction supply business in day to day business operations, financings and workout of senior and mezzanine debt financing.
  • Representation of convenience store chain in implementation of diversification strategy.
  • Representation of buyer of high tech assets out of bankruptcy and subsequent assistance with building of bio tech business, formation of strategic partnerships, governmental contracts, and intellectual property licensing agreements.
  • Representation of entrepreneurs in acquisition and funding, and subsequent growth and sale, of e-learning business.

Professional Experience

  • Office of the Governor, serving in several capacities more than four years, including Chief of Staff

Honors

Franklin Jelsma, SL

  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. In 2013 and 2014, Mr. Jelsma was cited as a "Leading Individual" in Corporate/M&A. The publication noted in 2010 that he is "highly acclaimed for his expertise in venture capital transactions"
  • Highest professional ratings by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law and Securities/Capital Markets Law, 2007-2018, Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships), 2017-2018 and Commercial Financial Law, 2018
  • Best Lawyers® 2017 Louisville Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Best Lawyers® 2016 Louisville Securities / Capital Markets Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Best Lawyers® 2013 Louisville Mergers & Acquisitions Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Recognized by his peers as one of the Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2011-2018 in the areas of business/corporate, mergers & acquisitions, securities & corporate finance
  • Recognized as one of the "Top Lawyers" in the areas of Business-Commercial Law, Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisition Law and Venture Capital Law by Louisville Magazine, March 2014
  • Honored as a leader in the Louisville business community and as Alumni of the Year for his high school, Ballard High, 2000
  • Selected as one of "Kentucky’s Leaders for the New Century," 1999

Education

1991 - J.D., University of Kentucky; Associate Editor for the Kentucky Law Journal and Order of the Coif

1986 - A.B., Princeton University

Publications

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Louisville and Kentucky Bar Associations
  • Leadership Louisville, 2002
  • Past Chair, Business Law Section, Louisville Bar Association

Admissions

  • Kentucky

Civic Involvement

  • Member and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Prichard Committee (an education advocacy organization)
  • Member and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Jefferson County Public Education Foundation (a foundation supporting initiatives of the Jefferson County school system
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
  • Member of the Rotary Club of Louisville

Representative Matters

  • Ongoing representation of a diverse holding company in numerous M&A transactions over last decade, including: acquisition of regional stock brokerage firm, purchase of fashion eyeglass company, acquisition of juice concentrate business, purchase of fencing and supply business, acquisition of insurance agencies and formation of a health maintenance organization.
  • Ongoing representation of venture capital fund focused on early-stage and growth investments. As part of this representation, negotiated, documented and closed dozens of preferred stock financings, including initial Series A rounds, follow-on financings, down-round financings and liquidity events. This work includes advice on corporate governance and conflict of interest issues, compliance with securities laws, crafting management incentive plans and employment agreements. Also representation of portfolio companies, advising on equity and debt financings, strategic partnerships, corporate governance issues, customer contracts and day-to-day corporate matters.
  • Representation of numerous entrepreneurs and families in the sale of privately held businesses to strategic buyers and private equity backed buyers. These businesses include high tech data management, smart cards, radio stations, home appraisers, community newspapers, auto parts suppliers, industrial cleaning and restaurant concepts.
  • Representation of seller of tobacco business to London based buyer for $1.9 billion.
  • Ongoing representation of large and diversified family owned manufacturing and service business in day to day corporate matters as well as numerous acquisitions and sales of business units.
  • Representation of entrepreneur in sale of high end skincare business to global conglomerate.
  • Representation of construction supply business in day to day business operations, financings and workout of senior and mezzanine debt financing.
  • Representation of convenience store chain in implementation of diversification strategy.
  • Representation of buyer of high tech assets out of bankruptcy and subsequent assistance with building of bio tech business, formation of strategic partnerships, governmental contracts, and intellectual property licensing agreements.
  • Representation of entrepreneurs in acquisition and funding, and subsequent growth and sale, of e-learning business.

Professional Experience

  • Office of the Governor, serving in several capacities more than four years, including Chief of Staff

Honors

Franklin Jelsma, SL

  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. In 2013 and 2014, Mr. Jelsma was cited as a "Leading Individual" in Corporate/M&A. The publication noted in 2010 that he is "highly acclaimed for his expertise in venture capital transactions"
  • Highest professional ratings by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law and Securities/Capital Markets Law, 2007-2018, Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships), 2017-2018 and Commercial Financial Law, 2018
  • Best Lawyers® 2017 Louisville Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Best Lawyers® 2016 Louisville Securities / Capital Markets Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Best Lawyers® 2013 Louisville Mergers & Acquisitions Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Recognized by his peers as one of the Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2011-2018 in the areas of business/corporate, mergers & acquisitions, securities & corporate finance
  • Recognized as one of the "Top Lawyers" in the areas of Business-Commercial Law, Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisition Law and Venture Capital Law by Louisville Magazine, March 2014
  • Honored as a leader in the Louisville business community and as Alumni of the Year for his high school, Ballard High, 2000
  • Selected as one of "Kentucky’s Leaders for the New Century," 1999

Education

1991 - J.D., University of Kentucky; Associate Editor for the Kentucky Law Journal and Order of the Coif

1986 - A.B., Princeton University

Publications

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Louisville and Kentucky Bar Associations
  • Leadership Louisville, 2002
  • Past Chair, Business Law Section, Louisville Bar Association

Admissions

  • Kentucky

Civic Involvement

  • Member and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Prichard Committee (an education advocacy organization)
  • Member and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Jefferson County Public Education Foundation (a foundation supporting initiatives of the Jefferson County school system
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
  • Member of the Rotary Club of Louisville
Franklin K. Jelsma