Higher Education

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Strategic Alliances

Our higher education team’s legal insight and strategic depth emanate from our technical expertise and our multi-faceted experiences within higher education. The insider knowledge we bring to the discussion of strategic alternatives make clear to us that institutional history and values must be considered along with—not independent from—the legal issues. We understand that transactional solutions and strategies must be guided by and grounded in every institution’s unique culture and that even before deciding on structural alternatives, we must overcome possible barriers related to mission alignment, leadership integration, shared governance, and communications. With this holistic approach, we go well beyond the legal question when we help institutions confront change and seize opportunities head on.

The difficult circumstances now facing higher education may necessitate conversations about internal restructuring, mergers, acquisitions, strategic alliances and affiliations or even closure. As colleges and universities explore these options, we bring together the best thought leadership and legal acumen from our Higher EducationMergers & Acquisitions, and Nonprofit teams. 

Higher Ed Venn Diagram1 sillo

When exploring potential M&A opportunities, we guide clients through the various strategic alternatives, including:

  • Transaction structure
  • Due diligence (or reverse due diligence)
  • Agreement drafting and review, including Letter of Intent/Memo of Understanding
  • Affiliation agreements, schedules, and other ancillary agreements

Critical to this process is an understanding of the myriad legal issues presented by transactions of this type, including:

  • Attorney General approval/Department of Education approval
  • Third party consents
  • Endowment Cy Pres
  • Other topics such as bank financing, tax exempt bonds, benefit plans, real estate, etc.

Click here to review "Key Considerations in Higher Education M&A" to learn more about the ways in which mergers, acquisitions, and other strategic affiliations can be designed to fulfill institutional goals and preserve institutional culture.

> Return to the Higher Education practice page here.


This website presents only general information not intended as legal advice. Although we encourage calls, letters and emails from prospective clients, please keep in mind that merely contacting Harter Secrest & Emery LLP (HSE) does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Confidential information should not be sent to HSE until you have been notified in writing by HSE that a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Information sent to us before then may not be treated as confidential by HSE or the court.

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