MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
Mr. Blust represents buyers and sellers in M&A transactions, including complicated tax structuring and cross border transactions. Some of his specialized niche areas are tax-exempt entity acquisitions and LLC acquisition structures minimizing tax on retained minority interests and Hart-Scott-Rodino filings. Recent transactions include:
- Sale of two consulting practices for large consulting firm
- Joint venture between state university and a publisher on financial index
- Acquisition of beer distributorship
- Sale of manufacturer with Canadian and European operations
TAX REPORTING, CONSULTING, AND CONTROVERSIES
Mr. Blust represents taxpayers at the audit, appellate, administrative hearing, and court levels regarding federal income, estate, and excise taxes and state and local income, sales, use, and franchise taxes. Recent matters include:
- Settlement of TEFRA audit
- Settlement of Chicago lease and use tax matter at administrative hearing level
- Settlement of federal accumulated surplus tax case at appeals
In addition to representing taxpayers in controversies, Mr. Blust counsels on situsing to minimize state and local taxes, handles unclaimed property audits and issues, develops structures for foreign clients for investments in the U.S. and negotiates and drafts tax reimbursement (secondment) agreements and tax allocation agreements regarding U.S. employees and operations located overseas. Mr. Blust also consulted for a former governor regarding Illinois tax legislation, including a possible gross receipts tax and regarding film tax credits.
Mr. Blust represents financial institutions and gaming companies in Indian and non-Indian gaming transactions. Examples of Indian gaming and economic development transactions are:
- Certification of Tribes and Bands with Bureau of Indian Affairs
- Acquiring and dedicating trust and reservation land
- The financing of over 30 Indian casinos in California (3 of 4 Palm Springs casinos), Wyoming (only non-state regulated Indian casino), Minnesota, Oklahoma, New York, New Mexico, and Wisconsin
- Tax exempt Indian Economic Development Bonds for gaming related hotel and spa
- Representation of Indian casino management firm
Examples of Non-Indian Gaming Transactions:
- Transfer and registration of gaming boats
- Financing and licensing “trip to nowhere” gaming boat operations in Florida and New York
- Representing owners of two casinos in Blackhawk, Colorado
- Representing co-lead lender in refinancing of casinos in Las Vegas
- Consultant to former governor regarding Illinois gaming legislation
TAXABLE AND TAX EXEMPT BONDS
Mr. Blust has acted as bond counsel, borrower’s counsel, underwriter’s counsel, issuer’s counsel, and credit enhancer’s counsel on virtually every type of tax exempt and taxable bond. He was a pioneer on 501(c)(3) and Indian bonds and various synthetic bond and credit enhancement structures. Recent taxable bond transactions include the financing of a number of failed condominium project loans for several community banks by taxable variable rate demand bonds credit enhanced by Federal Home Loan Bank back to back letters of credit.
Recent tax-exempt bond transactions include:
- Issuer’s counsel on 2009 and 2010 Central DuPage Hospital bonds of $90 million and $240 million respectively
- Bond and borrower’s counsel on $50,000,000 re-credit enhancement of housing bonds
- Several low and moderate income housing financings involving tax credits as well as tax exempt bonds
Mr. Blust represents developers in structuring and financing infrastructure projects under public/private partnerships such as a tollroad as to which he has represented the owners in over $2 billion in partnership financings and refinancings. In addition, he represented the same owners in $1 billion of mezzanine financing based on excess rated debt service coverage.
Mr. Blust also represents one of the largest developers and financers of federal and state office buildings in federal, state, and local government financings of buildings rented to government agencies in D.C. and other locations.
Mr. Blust is currently representing a client proposing to purchase and finance two partially completed nuclear reactors. This project also involves advanced nuclear facility production tax credits.
In addition to infrastructure, bond and gaming financings, Mr. Blust represents borrowers and lenders in a variety of securitized and bank financings and workouts, including assignments for benefit of creditors and Section 363 purchasers of distressed businesses.
Mr. Blust has a breadth of experience in regard to REIT, REMIC, and RIC structure and tax issues. A recent transaction was the rollup of single family home portfolios into an initial public securities offering.
Mr. Blust develops structures for hedge funds, private equity, and venture funds and represents such funds in securitization and portfolio transactions. He was a pioneer in foreign and leveraged feeder funds and foreign and domestic blockers to accommodate certain types of investors and satisfy tax, ERISA, and securities law requirements. He recently represented the portfolio company in a $60 million financing involving foreign trusts and domestic blockers.
In addition, Mr. Blust has reviewed proposed fund investments for not-for-profits and represented investors in ponzi scheme problems.
Mr. Blust has represented clients in the construction, acquisition, and foreign and domestic registration of vessels, especially gaming vessels and mega yachts. He represents boat owners in regard to maritime insurance and claims, barebones, and wet chartering and crew contracts and Jones Act issues.
Mr. Blust has represented developers and syndicators in regard to housing tax credits, new market tax credits, historic rehabilitation tax credits, and energy tax credits. A recent transaction is the structuring and sale of $30 million in rehab tax credits on a Chicago hotel.
Mr. Blust advises clients on the best structures to accomplish their goals and has vast experience in partnerships and LLC taxation and carried interest transactions.
He also advises clients on asset protection aspects of structures and sets up foreign and domestic asset protection and other trusts and counsels client on fraudulent conveyance issues.
WEALTHY FAMILY REPRESENTATION
Mr. Blust sets up virtual family office structures and plans family wealth tax minimization, asset protection, and generational transfers. As part of this practice, he negotiates and drafts pre- and post-nuptial agreements for family members, negotiates divorce settlements, and structures and drafts family partnerships and trusts.
Mr. Blust historically has represented small and medium sized CPA firms in compensation structures, practice issues, and claims. As a former accountant, he advises clients on GAAP issues.
Mr. Blust has represented many real estate developers and syndicators regarding structuring, acquiring, and financing commercial and residential properties and Regulation D offerings. He structures and negotiates workouts to minimize income from discharge and structures and documents lease transactions, 1031 and 1033 exchanges, and TIF financing.