Michael Freitag

Michael Freitag

Partner New York D 212-895-8654 Download Vcard

For more than 28 years, Michael has provided strategic counsel and support to companies, individuals and institutions facing a wide range of communications challenges. His areas of expertise include:

  • Reputation Management, Media Relations and Investor Relations: He develops and helps to implement comprehensive investor relations and corporate communications programs for clients across a wide range of industries.
  • Crisis Communications: He has been deeply involved in a wide variety of matters impacting the business community, including allegations of insider trading, fraud and accounting irregularities; government investigations and regulatory actions; product recalls; litigation; and management changes.
  • Restructuring & Bankruptcy: He helps clients develop and implement communication plans related to out-of-court financial restructurings and in-court Chapter 11 reorganizations and Section 363 asset sales. He has worked on more than 150 such cases, including assignments in the automotive, airline, energy, entertainment, financial services, manufacturing, restaurant and retail sectors. Recent matters include A123 Systems, Adeptus, Allens, Arch Coal, Associated Wholesalers, Bestwall, Bon-Ton Stores, Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Central Grocers, Charming Charlie, Chassix, Coldwater Creek, Cumulus Media, EXCO Resources, First Energy, General Wireless (RadioShack), Global Aviation, GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes, Homer City, Mattress Firm, Momentive Performance Materials, Noranda Aluminum, M*Modal, Oi, Performance Sports Group, Patriot Coal, Pinnacle Airlines, Rockport, Quiznos, Sabine Oil & Gas, Toys”R”Us, Targus, and Walter Investment.
  • Alternative Investments: He has advised numerous private equity firms and their portfolio companies, as well as hedge funds, family offices and university endowments. Clients include Cinven, a leading European PE firm; First Reserve, the largest global PE and infrastructure investment firm exclusively focused on energy; Fundamental Advisors, a leading PE firm in the municipal sector, and Sycamore Partners, a PE firm focused on the retail and consumer products sectors.
  • M&A and Shareholder Activism: Recent assignments include General Electric in its transaction with Baker Hughes, spin-off of Synchrony, and strategic realignment of GE Capital; MoneyGram in its proposed acquisition by Ant Financial; Cabela’s in its sale to Bass Pro Shops; VCA in its sale to Mars; Hershey in its response to an unsolicited offer from Mondelez; Gannett in its proposed acquisition of tronc (formerly Tribune Publishing); Humana in its proposed transaction with Aetna; CST in its sale to Couche-Tard; Axiall in its sale to Westlake; American Science & Engineering in its sale to OSI; Tech Data in its acquisition of Avnet’s Technology Services Business; and Sycamore Partners in its sale of EMP and Stuart Weitzman and acquisition of CommerceHub, Staples, Belk, the Jones Group, Hot Topic, Talbots, and Mast Global. He has also counseled numerous companies in their interactions with activist investors and unsolicited bidders.

Michael joined Joele Frank in 2011. He previously served as a Partner and leader of the Restructuring and Reorganization practice at Kekst and Company. From 1986 to 1990, he was on the editorial staff of The New York Times, where among other roles he served for two years as the news clerk to A.M. (Abe) Rosenthal, the columnist and former executive editor. He received a BA in political science cum laude from Yale University. Michael is a member of the Board of Trustees of Greenwich Library.

In 2013, Michael served as Honorary Chair of the Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation’s eleventh annual dinner. The Foundation has raised more than $6 million to provide college scholarships to children of firefighters and victims of the September 11 attacks and other fires and disasters.