The Firms

September 9, 2009 12:25 PM

Ice Miller-Greenebaum Doll Merger Talks End

Posted by Brian Baxter

On a day when many people are getting married--9/9/09 is the last set of repeating, single-digit dates for almost a century--Ice Miller won't be reaching the altar after all.

After nine months of negotiations, the 258-lawyer Indianapolis firm has called off a planned merger with Louisville's Greenebaum Doll & McDonald, reports the Indianapolis Business Journal.

The two firms began merger talks in December 2008 and were expected to close on a deal before the end of this year. Ice Miller is the third-largest firm in Indianapolis and has offices in Chicago, the Chicago suburb of Lisle, Ill., and Washington, D.C. Greenebaum, which entertained merger talks with 330-lawyer St. Louis firm Thompson Coburn a few years ago, has offices in Cincinnati, Nashville, and three Kentucky cities.

According to the IBJ report, an unnamed source at Greenebaum said the merger isn't happening and negotiations have ended. The source told the paper that partners at Greenebaum were concerned that a merger with a larger rival would result in increased rates for clients at a time when those clients are cutting their legal budgets.

According to Am Law 200 financial data, Ice Miller had gross revenues of $126 million last year. Profits per each of the firm's 110 equity partners were $525,000. (In 2007, the firm had gross revenues of $118 million and PEP of $475,000.)

In an e-mail statement to the IBJ, Ice Miller managing partner Byron Myers said his firm would not comment on merger talks but would continue to evaluate "growth opportunities" to better serve clients.

Frankly, the amateur matchmakers here at The Am Law Daily have always thought McKool Smith would make a nice pairing with Ice Miller, based strictly on the possibilities for a sweet-sounding firm name. (Who wouldn't want to work at McKool Ice?)

Alas, for Ice Miller, it appears 9/9/09 wasn't a lucky date.

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