Michael I. Okkonen
Partner | Brussels
Michael I. Okkonen

Michael Okkonen is a partner in the competition practice with extensive experience in all aspects of EU and UK competition law, with a particular focus on merger control and the control of foreign direct investment (FDI), including the UK’s National Security & Investment Act. He advises clients across a wide range of industries, including private equity, life science, technology, automotive, chemicals, defence, energy and financial services.

Clients describe Mr. Okkonen as “a pleasure to work with, knowledgeable, modest, calm and capable and a very effective communicator” and noting his “timely and concrete commercial advice”. He has recently been named a “2023 Antitrust Rising Star” by Merger Links and is ranked as a “Future Leader – Partner” by Who’s Who LegalLegal 500 EMEA, which consistently recommends Mr. Okkonen as a leading competition lawyer, describes him as “a key name for merger control and FDI matters”. Global Competition Review 100 also recognized his work in 2022. 

Mr. Okkonen frequently writes on a broad range of issues relating to competition, FDI and the upcoming Foreign Subsidies Regulation.

  • American Express Global Business Travel on its investments, including the acquisition of Hogg Robinson Group and DER Touristik Business Travel Division.
  • Cathay Capital on its Investment in Cenexi Group.
  • Cerberus on various transactions such as the sale of PaxVax to Emergent BioSolutions for US$270 million and Covis Pharma to Apollo Global Management.
  • Certares on a number of transactions, including the group led by Certares in connection with American Express Global Business Travel’s US$ 5.3 billion business combination with Apollo Strategic Growth Capital.
  • Chatchaval Jiaravanon on its acquisition of Fortune Media Brand from Meredith Corporation Limited for US$150 million.
  • Conterra on minority investment in Fiera Infastructure Inc. from Court Square Capital Partners and other equity holders.
  • Court Square Capital Partners on its acquisition of Getaroom and subsequent sale to Booking.com for US$ 1.2 billion. Mr. Okkonen helped Court Square to obtain merger control clearances in several jurisdictions.
  • Court Square on the acquisition of RoundTower and Kovarus by its portfolio company, Ahead, and the subsequent sale of Ahead.
  • Crown Holdings, Inc., a global leader in consumer packaging, in connection with its proposed acquisition of Signode Industrial Group Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd., a leading global provider of transit packaging systems and solutions, from The Carlyle Group, for US$3.9 billion. Mr. Okkonen helped Crown to secure regulatory clearance from the European Commission, Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), and many other international authorities.
  • Crown Holdings, Inc. in its sale of European Tinplate Business to KPS Capital Partners for approximately €1.9 billion.
  • Differential Brands Group Inc.’s acquisition of Global Brands Group’s North American Division for US$1.2 billion.
  • Egalet in its acquisition of four non-narcotic pain products from Iroko Pharmaceuticals.
  • Encompass Digital Media (a portfolio company of Court Square Capital Partners) on their acquisition of Babcock Media Services Limited, a specialist telecommunications and satellite network services provider.
  • FMC Corporation on the sale of its Health and Nutrition business to DowDuPont in exchange for portions of DuPont’s global crop protection business, which were divested as a condition of DuPont’s merger with Dow valued at US$145 billion. Mr. Okkonen helped FMC secure regulatory clearance from the European Commission, Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), and many other international authorities.
  • Further Global Capital Management on its cross-border, take-private acquisition of the entire issued share capital of GBGI Limited, a Guernsey domiciled AIM-listed insurance company.
  • GIC in connection with the merger of Ultimate Software and Kronos Incorporated for an enterprise value of US$22 billion.
  • GIC in the US$27 billion sale of Refinitiv by a consortium (consisting of Blackstone, an affiliate of GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Thomson Reuters) to London Stock Exchange Group plc, representing the largest PE exit in 2019, according to Bloomberg.
  • GIC in its strategic partnership between Blackstone-led consortium and Thomson Reuters for Refinitiv (f/k/a Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk business) at overall valuation of US$20 billion.
  • GIC in its acquisition of a substantial equity stake (along with Silver Lake) in Ancestry.com.
  • GIC on its investment in Ascensus, along with Stone Point Capital.
  • GIC in connection with the US$17 billion entry into a definitive agreement to acquire athenahealth.
  • GIC on joint acquisition of Direct ChassisLink, along with OMERS Infrastructure and Wren House.
  • GIC on its investment valued at approximately US$ 1.8 billion in Quantexa.
  • Graham Partners on various transaction such as the acquisitions of Berry Global’s Flexible Packaging Business, BrightSign and Taoglass, and the sales of Myers EPS to KohlBerg & Company, Mercer Foods, Acme Cryogenics and Giraffe Foods.
  • Griffon on its sale of Telephonics Corporation, a provider of sophisticated intelligence, surveillance and communications solutions, to TTM Technologies for US$ 330 million.
  • Griffon in connection with various transactions such as US$ 845 million acquisition of Hunter Fan and the acquisition of ClosetMaid.
  • Ipsen in its acquisition of the global oncology assets of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, including its key marketed product ONIVYDE®, for up to US$1 billion.
  • J.H. Whitney in various acquisitions.
  • J. P. Morgan on various transactions such as the acquisition of Campbell Global.
  • Kofax on US$1 billion sale to Lexmark.
  • Lazada on US$1 billion sale to Alibaba.
  • M1 Fashion and L Capital Asia on Pepe Jeans Group Acquisition before the EU Commission.
  • MiddleGround Capital on various acquisitions such as Dura Automotive Systems, Arrow Tru-Line and Plasman Holdings.
  • MSD Partners in its acquisition of Hayward Industries in Partnership with CCMP Capital Advisors, Alberta Investment Management Corp. and Ring Container Technologies.
  • Nordic Capital in its sale of Itiviti to Broadbridge Financial Solutions, Inc. for €2.1 billion.
  • OCI Enterprises Inc. in sale of OCI Resources LP Interests to Park Holding A.S. of Ciner Group.
  • One Equity Partners and PeroxyChem on the potential sale of the latter to Evonik Industries for US$640 million. Mr. Okkonen helped One Equity Partners and PeroxyChem secure regulatory clearance from the European Commission and many other international authorities.
  • One Equity Partners on the acquisition of the MERA group, a custom software developments services provider.
  • One Equity Partners on various transactions including the acquisitions of ACI Worldwide, Brush Group, ResultsCX and Rosboro, and the sale of Rizing to Wipro.
  • Osgood Capital and Cyprium Partners in their joint acquisition of the Uniloy Blow Molding business from Milacron Holdings Corp.
  • Quilvest Capital Partners and its portfolio company, Command Alkon, a construction supplier collaboration platform, in the sale of Command Alkon to private equity firm Thoma Bravo.
  • Ritchie Bros. on US$758.5 million Acquisition of IronPlanet.
  • Rocket Software in US$2 Billion Investment by Bain Capital Private Equity.
  • Light & Wonder (previously Scientific Games) on its acquisition of Alictus.
  • Shanghai Shenda in Formation of Joint Venture with IAC in Automotive Soft Trim and Acoustics Supply Business.
  • SK group on various acquisitions such as SK Siltron on its purchase of Silicon Carbide (SiC) Wafer business for US$450 million from DuPont, and SK ecoplant’s US$ 1 billion acquisition of TES group.
  • Tech Mahindra on US$240 Million Acquisition of Lightbridge Communications Corporation.
  • Valneva on its collaboration with Pfizer to co-develop and commercialise Lyme Disease Vaccine, VLA15.
  • A major US pharmaceutical supplier against a takeover by another U.S. pharmaceutical company.
  • Pharma Remains A Key Focus Of EU Antitrust Enforcement, Law360 (April 26, 2024)
  • Beware non-EU entities bearing gifts, The Drawdown (October 13, 2023)
  • EU FSR could impact PE fundraising with potential rise in ‘clean funds’ – analysis, PaRR (August 31, 2023)
  • CMA scrutiny of high-leverage PE divestment purchases expected to increase – analysis, PaRR (August 17, 2023)
  • EU Foreign Subsidies rules hold specific challenges for private equity, PaRR (June 21, 2023)
  • Minimising the risk of breaching antitrust rules in Research and Development (R&D) collaboration, Practical Law (December 1, 2019)
  • Pharmaceutical Antitrust: United Kingdom Chapter, Getting The Deal Through (September 2019)
  • Crossed Wires: Private Equity Firms not Immune to Antitrust Risk, International Financial Law Review (February 26, 2019)
  • Recent EU Fines for Resale Price Maintenance Are Symptoms of Broader Challenges Faced by Today's Consumer-Goods Manufacturers, European Competition Law Review (November 2018)  
Services Industries
    • University of Warwick, LL.B. Law (Hons), 2008
    • College of Law, Legal Practice Course, 2009
    • College of Europe, LL.M., European Legal Studies, 2012
    • King’s College London, Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice, Economics in Competition Law, 2017
    • Brussels
    • England and Wales
    • New York
    • English
    • French
    • Russian
    • Finnish
    • Spanish