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About Ryan

Driving middle-market private company M&A forward

Ryan Van Den Elzen concentrates on middle-market private company mergers and acquisitions (M&A) with a heavy focus on private equity. He leverages his extensive transactional experience to:

  • Focus on what matters both in deal terms and diligence.
  • Help clients understand the practical implications of legal risks and deal terms.
  • Understand how and where the market is moving to provide practical guidance with a view to efficiently closing deals.
  • Develop a streamlined process and small but dedicated team of lawyers for each transaction, all pulling in the same direction with a common goal of getting the deal done.

As an important aspect in private equity transactions, Ryan also helps clients draft and implement a full suite of equity documents, addressing the needs of the lead private equity group, institutional co-investors, financing sources and management. 

Experience in Action

  • Representing private equity groups in the full life cycle of portfolio investments from platform acquisitions all the way through to the ultimate exit transaction, including portfolio company growth efforts that often involve multiple tuck-in acquisitions.
  • Advising family-owned and other privately held businesses on day-to-day operational issues as well as growth strategies, including M&A transactions, corporate governance matters, structuring relationships among owners, strategic planning, structuring and forming new business entities, and serving as outside general counsel.
  • Helping founders and other private company business owners achieve successful sale transactions when the time is right for them to make the transition.


  • Represented a private equity group in acquisition of engineering services business serving the insurance industry.
  • Represented Infosec Institute Inc., an IT security training business, in the sale of business to Cengage Learning Inc.
  • Represented private equity group in acquisition of retail-focused beauty products company.
  • Represented private equity-backed company in simultaneous acquisition of a competitor and that competitor’s largest supplier.
  • Represented Carson Group, a wealth management and fintech business, in connection with its growth equity financing transaction with Bain Capital.
  • Represented private equity group in sale of engineering services business serving the electrical infrastructure industry.
  • Represented private equity-owned portfolio company in a series of growth-oriented acquisitions and the ultimate sale of the business to an Italian public company.
  • Represented 50% owner of family business to build consensus with other owners and ultimately sell 100% of the business to a private equity group.

Professional Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America® (2018-present: Mergers and Acquisitions Law)
  • Chambers USA® (2012, 2013, 2019-present: Corporate/M&A)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers® "Rising Stars" (2008, 2009, 2012: Business/Corporate; Mergers & Acquisitions)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association, member
  • Lutheran Special School and Education Services, board member
  • PAVE Board Corps, member
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Business Law Section, chair; Private Equity and Venture Capital Committee (2006–present)
  • Wisconsin Bar Association, member

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