Jon is a partner in the Corporate & Finance practice and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He has more than 50 years of experience guiding publicly-held and private companies through some of the most important transactions they will encounter. He plays a key role in ensuring successful deals such as public and private company mergers and acquisitions, going-private transactions, and equity and debt financings. He also has a rich history serving on the boards of both private and public companies, providing deep experience in corporate governance and fiduciary duty issues. Jon’s clients come generally from the technology, healthcare, distribution, and retail industries.
Jon has taken more than a dozen companies from startup to listing on the New York Stock Exchange, including Sysco Corporation, the largest food distribution company in the world. He led Sysco Corporation through more than 100 acquisitions, dozens of other public company offerings and listings on the NYSE. He served on its board for more than 34 years.
Active in Atlanta community efforts, Jon is chairman of The Livingston Foundation, an Atlanta-based charitable foundation, and is a former trustee of The Southern Center for International Studies and the Woodruff Arts Center. He served for many years as an adjunct professor at Emory Law School in the subjects of mergers and acquisitions as well as securities and corporate finance.
Represented Moovies Inc. in the merger of 10 video rental companies throughout the Southeast. In an innovative and complex procedure, the owners all signed a contract to merge and go public simultaneously, and the proceeds from the public offering were used to close on the deal, pay off any debt, and provide the owners with cash, as well as shares in the merged company, resulting in $100 million deal. Ultimately, the new company multiplied to approximately 400 stores nationwide by acquiring smaller chains after the merger. The public company ultimately acquired.
Led the public offering of Sysco Corporation, Fortune 100 national food distribution company, from its beginning to the present, including more than 100 acquisitions, dozens of public company offerings and listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
Successfully sold the operating company of a large Atlanta-based grocery store chain to a private equity firm, while simultaneously spinning off the real estate in a publicly traded distribution to the owners of the operating company. In an innovative procedure, the public limited partnership then leased the property back to the real estate firm for use in operations.
- Harvard Law School, Bachelor of Laws
- Princeton University, Bachelor of Arts
- State of Georgia
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- United States Supreme Court
- American Bar Association
- Sysco Corporation (NYSE), Director, 1983-2017
- Rich Products Corporation, Director, 1984-present
- The Livingston Foundation, Chairman
- Woodruff Arts Center, Former Trustee
- Emory Law School, Adjunct Professor (Mergers and Acquisitions, 2009-10; Mergers and Acquisitions, 1988-89; Securities and Corporate Finance, 1974-79)
- The Profit Recovery Group International Inc. (NASDAQ), Director, 1996–2005
- Intermedics Inc. (NYSE), Director, 1983-88*
- Automatic Service Company (AMEX), Director, 1970-76*
- Butler Shoe Corp. (NYSE), Director, 1965-68*
(*Company acquired at last date.)
- Best Lawyers in America®, Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, 2001-23
- “Lawyer of the Year,” Mergers and Acquisitions Law, 2021
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers, Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions, 2017-22
- IFLR1000, M&A Law, 2019-22
- Georgia Super Lawyers, 2004-18
- “Lifetime Achievement Award,” ALM Media, LLC, 2016
- BTI Client Service All-Stars, 2014
- The International Who’s Who of Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyers, 2013-14
- The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, 2013
News & Insights
- NewsThree AGG Practices, Six Attorneys Recognized in 2022 IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial and Corporate Law FirmsSeptember 26, 2022 | News Releases | Rankings & Recognition | Arnall Golden Gregory LLP
- NewsAGG Attorney Recognition in The Best Lawyers in America® Increases by More Than 50 Percent in 2023 EditionAugust 18, 2022 | Rankings & Recognition | Arnall Golden Gregory LLP
- NewsAGG Earns Significant Practice and Attorney Rankings in Chambers USA 2022 GuideJune 6, 2022 | News Releases | Rankings & Recognition | Arnall Golden Gregory LLP