Tanner provides strategic communications counsel to companies facing complex, high-profile corporate events, transactions and special situations, including friendly and unsolicited transactions, shareholder activism defense and short attacks. He also assists clients with ongoing investor relations, corporate communications and crisis management. His areas of expertise include:
Mergers & Acquisitions
He works with clients in both friendly and unsolicited M&A transactions. Notable assignments include advising Emerson across multiple transactions, including its acquisition of National Instruments, the sale of a majority stake in Emerson’s Climate Technologies business to Blackstone and the combination of Emerson’s industrial software businesses with AspenTech; AVEO Oncology on its sale to LG Chem; CTI BioPharma on its sale to Sobi (Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB); Southwest Gas on the sale of its subsidiary Mountain West Pipelines Holdings Company to Williams; Terminix Global Holdings on its sale to Rentokil Initial plc.; Sesen Bio on its merger with Carisma Therapeutics, IEA on its sale to MasTec; Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. in its merger with Cimarex Energy Co.; Ali Group in its acquisition of Welbilt, Inc.; TranslateBio in its sale to Sanofi; Alder BioPharmaceuticals on its sale to H. Lundbeck A/S; Gannett on its successful hostile takeover defense against MNG Enterprises and subsequent sale to New Media Investment Group; Barnes & Noble on its sale to Elliott Advisors (UK) Limited; Multi-Color Corporation on its sale to Platinum Equity LLC; Panera Bread on its sale to JAB; WebMD on its sale to KKR; Gartner on its acquisition of CEB; Keurig Green Mountain in its sale to JAB; Pep Boys in its sale to Icahn Enterprises; Axiall in its sale to Westlake; Rackspace on its sale to Apollo Global Management; Depomed on its successful hostile takeover defense against Horizon Pharma; multiple acquisitions by Thermo Fisher Scientific; and Time Warner in its successful hostile takeover defense against 21st Century Fox.
Shareholder Activism & Short Attacks
He has advised numerous companies in public and private activist situations and proxy contests opposite Value Act Capital, Trian Partners, Starboard Value, Engaged Capital, Icahn Enterprises, Rubric Capital and Sarissa Capital, among others.
Crisis and Reputation Management
Recent projects include advising clients facing workplace misconduct and sexual harassment allegations, facility closures and workforce reductions, reputational attacks, patent and trade secret litigation, regulatory inquiries and unplanned leadership changes. He has worked with numerous biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients, advising on matters ranging from failed clinical trials and adverse patient events to FDA inspections and warning letters.
He advises companies on all aspects of investor relations strategy and programming, including effective message development, institutional targeting and marketing, and IR program planning and execution. He also works with clients to enhance their overall communications strategy, including corporate positioning, profile-raising and thought leadership.
Tanner joined Joele Frank in 2014. He received a BA in Business Management and BS in Economics from Skidmore College, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He serves on the Board of the 5th Floor Theatre Company, a 501(c) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting emerging non-equity theatre artists.