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Franchise Dispute Settlement, Hotel Flag Change, $14,000,000 Refinance and Partner Buyout Produces Home Run for Client

Frederick J. Berger successfully completed a home run for a hotel client that wanted to settle a hotel franchise dispute, enter into a new hotel franchise with a nationally recognized top tier hotel, fund the change in the hotel franchise with a $14,000,000 loan, and buy out the other partner and management contract. As Fred recalled, “The first step was to review and analyze the hotel franchise agreement to determine if the hotel franchise had breached the franchise agreement. With the help of the law firm’s franchise department, Riezman Berger, P.C. was able to develop several legal theories which formed the basis of the claim against the hotel franchise and ultimate settlement. Working through the new hotel franchise agreement was relatively easy since we have been handling hotel franchise agreements for decades, so we were able to focus on the important points and not get mired in the unimportant information. The financing was by far the easiest part of the puzzle, but by far the most detailed due to the collateral requirements and due diligence that goes with a $14,000,000 loan. Fred also had the help of senior associate Christine M. Painter, which according to Fred “…made that part of the puzzle easier because Chrissy is great to work with and Chrissy is detailed oriented, experienced in financing transactions and clients really enjoy working with her”. Buying out the other partner was the most challenging part of the transaction because it involved a tax free restructuring of debt and equity allocations among 4 different entities. 

Since joining the firm in 1976, Frederick J. Berger has built a strong practice in the areas of Business Litigation, Business Law, Closely Held Businesses, Mergers and Acquisitions, Communications and Media, Hospitality Law, Hotel Development and Franchise Transactions, Licensing Transactions, Contract Law, Governmental Affairs and Regulations, Municipal Law, Real Estate Transactions, Complex Tax Free Exchanges and Strategies dealing with Disregarded Entities and valuations of fee and leasehold interests, Real Property Leases, Land Development, Zoning Law, Entertainment Law and Offensive/Defensive Business Strategies in land use, legislation and government regulated industries. Fred’s practice centers on the representation of businesses and lenders in business litigation, general business, employment agreements, non-competition agreements and real estate transactions, as well as commercial lending transactions. Fred’s clients range from start up businesses and middle market companies to Fortune 100 corporations. Fred also represents creditors in lending, workout and foreclosure situations.

Fred has lectured extensively on issues related to environmental law, real estate, mergers and acquisitions and family succession planning, and he has also been involved in the drafting of pollution control ordinances for St. Louis County and has testified before the Missouri Department of Natural Resources regarding the promulgation of rules and regulations for pollution control. Over the course of his career, Fred has successfully closed over $1 Billion dollars in Mergers and Acquisitions, and his representation of real estate developers throughout the United States in commercial real estate transactions involving business centers, hotels and independent and assisted living centers, in total, exceeds of $500 Million dollars in development costs. Fred has been named by the Continental Who’s Who Registry of National Business Leaders, and the St. Louis County Municipal League. Fred also represented St. Louis Fans, Inc. to successfully relocate the Rams National Football team to St. Louis.

Fred is licensed to practice law in Missouri (State and Federal Court), Tennessee, Oklahoma, Illinois and Wisconsin, and is a member of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, the Missouri Bankers Association, the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association, the Illinois Dealers Association and the Illinois Bankers Association. Fred has also been admitted to practice before the United States District Court of the Western District of Missouri.

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