Joseph A. Coco



Mergers and Acquisitions, Finance, Private Equity and REITs

New York

T: +1.212.735.3050

F: 1.917.777.3050


Download vcard vCard Icon

Joseph A. Coco is a globally recognized attorney, having served for more than 30 years as lead lawyer on dozens of high-profile M&A transactions, private equity matters and financings. His work spans a wide range of industries and matters, including corporate, securities law and corporate governance. He has been involved in more than 150 major publicly disclosed M&A, REIT and financing transactions, including over 75 deals valued at more than $1 billion each.

Mr. Coco has been selected repeatedly for inclusion in Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the corporate, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity buyout categories. He is noted in Chambers as having, according to clients, “an exceptional combination of legal expertise and business acumen” and for being an “extraordinary legal and business advisor.” Additionally, he has been recognized as a leading mergers and acquisitions lawyer in The Best Lawyers in America.

He has represented several S&P 500 companies, including REITs, and is one of the world’s leading lawyers in the assisted/senior care facilities space, having advised on more than $50 billion in deals for Fortress Investment Group LLC and HCP, Inc. Mr. Coco represents public and private companies, private equity firms and hedge funds, as well as investment banks in a variety of U.S. and international transactions.

Notable representations have included:

  • Brookdale Senior Living Inc. in numerous corporate transactions, including:

    • its $2.8 billion acquisition of Emeritus Corporation; and
    • its $1.2 billion joint venture with HCP, Inc.;
  • Calpine Corporation in the unsolicited $11 billion stock offer by NRG Energy, Inc.;
  • Champion International Corporation in its proposed $17 billion merger of equals agreement with UPM-Kymmene Corporation and subsequent $10 billion merger with International Paper Company;
  • Danaher Corporation (an S&P 500 company) in numerous acquisitions, including:

    • its $13.8 billion acquisition of Pall Corporation;
    • its $2.6 billion combination with NetScout Systems, Inc.; and
    • its split into two companies with a combined market capitalization of over $60 billion;
  • Fortress Investment Group LLC in numerous corporate matters, including:

    • its $3.3 billion acquisition by SoftBank Group;
    • its acquisition of American General Finance Inc., a company with $20 billion in assets, from American International Group, Inc. and subsequent initial public offering of Springleaf Holdings, Inc.; and
    • its initial public offering (the first public listing of an alternative asset investment manager in the United States), honored as one of the “Equity Deals of the Year” in 2007 by International Financial Law Review;
  • HCP, Inc. (an S&P 500 REIT) in numerous acquisition and corporate matters, including its $6.1 billion acquisition of the real estate assets of HCR ManorCare, Inc., honored as one of the “Top Ten Deals” of 2011 by Institutional Investor, and its spin-off of Quality Care Properties Inc., a separately traded REIT;
  • Aircastle Limited in various corporate matters, including:

    • its initial public offering, honored as the “Most Innovative Deal of the Year” in 2006 by AirFinance Journal;
    • its $1.6 billion acquisition of 38 aircraft from Guggenheim Aviation Investment Fund LP; and
    • several equity and notes offerings totaling over $5 billion since 2006;
  • Akzo Nobel NV in its $1.3 billion sale of National Starch and Chemical Ltd. to Corn Products International, Inc.;
  • Apartment Investment and Management Company Inc.(an S&P 500 REIT) in its $1.5 billion acquisition of Casden Properties, Inc.;
  • Brookdale Senior Living Inc.:

    • in connection with activist Sandell Asset Management;
    • in its $1.3 billion acquisition of American Retirement Corporation;
    • in its $825 million add-on and secondary offering;
    • in its $204 million acquisition of senior housing assets from Sunrise Senior Living, Inc.; and
    • in its initial public offering and various notes offerings;
  • Darden Restaurants, Inc. in its $1 billion spin-off of a portion of its real estate assets into a REIT; Emeritus Corporation in its $1.8 billion sale of joint venture senior living assets with Blackstone Real Estate Partners to HCP, Inc.;
  • Fortress Investment Group LLC in:

    • in connection with agreements to become the investment manager of $2 billion in funds managed by D.B. Zwirn & Co. and $11 billion in funds managed by Logan Circle Partners LP;
    • the purchase by Nomura Holdings, Inc. of a 15 percent interest for $888 million and its $350 million repurchase from Nomura;
    • its $1.1 billion acquisition of RailAmerica, Inc.;
    • its $6.8 billion acquisition of Holiday Retirement Corp.;
    • its $3.5 billion acquisition of Florida East Coast Industries, Inc.;
    • its $1.01 billion sale of Holiday Retirement Properties to Newcastle;
    • its $2.4 billion acquisition of Interpool, Inc.;
    • its $2.8 billion acquisition of Intrawest Corporation and in the subsequent initial public offering of Intrawest Corporation; and
    • various other present acquisition and corporate matters;
  • Global Signal Inc. (a REIT) in its:

    • $5.8 billion acquisition by Crown Castle International; and
    • $1.2 billion cellular tower transaction with Sprint Corporation;
  • Hexcel Corporation:

    • in connection with the contested board proxy solicitation by Oscar S. Schafer & Partners II LP; and
    • its $500 million acquisition of Clark-Schwebel, Inc.;
  • Hospital Corporation of America (an S&P 500 company) in its $7.6 billion merger with Columbia-HCA Healthcare Corporation and the leveraged buyout by its manage­ment;
  • Life Time Fitness, Inc. in its $4 billion acquisition by Leonard Green & Partners and TPG Capital; and its exploration of a spin-off of its real estate assets into a REIT;
  • Moelis & Company, a leading global independent investment bank with a market capitalization of $1.75 billion, in its initial public offering;
  • New Residential Investment Corp. (a REIT) in its $1.3 billion acquisition of Home Loan Servicing Solutions, Ltd.;
  • Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC in various matters, including:

    • its $700 million refinancing, including its $250 million add-on equity offering; and
    • its $400 million 144A senior notes offering;
  • Penn National Gaming, Inc. in its $4 billion separation into two publicly traded companies, a REIT and a gaming operator;
  • RailAmerica, Inc. in its $2.8 billion acquisition by Genesee & Wyoming Inc. and its initial public offering;
  • Seacastle Inc. in its $4 billion combination of Carlisle Leasing International LLC, Interpool, Inc. and Seacastle Holdings LLC;
  • SeaCube Containers, Ltd. in its $1.7 billion acquisition by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and in its initial public offering;
  • SL Green Realty Corp. (an S&P 500 REIT) in various corporate matters and acquisitions;
  • Springleaf Holdings, Inc., a consumer finance company, in its $4.25 billion acquisition of OneMain Financial, Inc. from Citigroup;
  • TPG Capital, L.P. in its $475 million acquisition of Assisted Living Concepts, Inc.;
  • UDR, Inc. (an S&P 500 REIT) in its $200 million add-on offering;
  • Uniroyal Chemical Corporation in its $1.4 billion merger with Crompton and Knowles Corporation and its initial public offering; and
  • Vanguard Health Systems, Inc. in its $4.3 billion acquisition by Tenet Healthcare Corporation.

Bar Admissions

New York


J.D., Fordham University School of Law, 1981 (Member, Fordham Law Review)

B.B.A., Finance, Iona College, 1978 (summa cum laude)