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Kenneth  Ashton

Kenneth Ashton

Partner| Salt Lake City


Ken Ashton advises start-up, emerging growth and mature companies in a variety of business transactions. He also represents private equity funds, strategic buyers, and commercial and private lenders.

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Significant Experience
  • Representing private equity funds, and public and private companies in merger and acquisition transactions and joint ventures, including transactions involving industrial manufacturing, telecommunications, energy and commercial retail
  • Advising various companies in private placement transactions and in federal and state securities laws
  • Assisting start-up and mature companies in entity formation and corporate/ organizational governance, including limited liability companies, partnerships, and buy-sell agreements
  • Representing various clients in the negotiation and preparation of various types of commercial contracts, including agreements for supply/distribution, technology license, outsourcing service contracts, and other general commercial agreements
  • Advising various commercial banks and private lenders in secured lending transactions and corporate financings
  • Assisting in preparing and negotiating buy-sell agreements, structuring management buy-outs, and resolving shareholder/management disputes
  • Advising in the formation, organization and governance of non-profit organizations and related matters
Selected Recent Transactions
  • Lead transaction counsel to purchaser in in acquisition of majority equity interest in local ski resort.
  • Counsel to national ski resort operator in various acquisition, disposition and operational matters.
  • Transaction counsel to a Utah professional corporation in the sale of its medical services business to a strategic buyer
  • Counsel to purchaser in recent $90 million asset acquisition of an industry competitor
  • Counsel to a Utah-based agriculture company in the sale of its business to an industry competitor
  • Counsel to leading manufacturer and supplier of wheel rims in a variety of joint venture, development agreements and other commercial transactions, including in a recent acquisition of an industry competitor and divesture of its drive-axle business
  • Counsel to management group in compensation/equity roll-over in the sale of a Utah-based manufacturing company to private equity buyer
  • Counsel to a public company in the recent sale of its farm equipment division to a strategic buyer
  • Counsel to manufacturer and supplier of seating components for trucks in the sale of its business to a strategic buyer
  • Counsel to commercial retail in the partial divesture of its business to an industry competitor
  • Counsel to a private equity investor of its acquisition of a specialty metals company
  • Counsel for private equity investor in providing secured and unsecured loans to portfolio companies, including acquisition/development loans
  • Counsel to stockholders in their sale of equity interest in a colocation business to an industry competitor
  • Represented a Caribbean-based telecommunications operator in its sale to a large international telecommunications provider
  • Primary counsel to first aid supply company in the sale of its business to an international conglomerate
  • Served as counsel to various private equity groups in providing secured financings of emerging growth companies
  • Counsel to a Utah non-profit organization that provides access to musical instruments in high-risk areas of Salt Lake City; advised client in forming, obtaining tax exempt status and non-profit governance
  • University of Texas (J.D., 2001)
    • Member, Texas International Law Journal
    • International Law Society
  • University of Utah (B.A., Economics, minor in Business, cum laude, 1998)
    • Phi Kappa Beta
    • Golden Key National Honor Society
  • Supreme Court of Utah
  • Supreme Court of New York
  • State Bar of Utah
    • Business Section, Secretary
  • New York State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Snell & Wilmer Legal Opinion Committee, Member
  • "Legal Entities," Presenter, Utah Association of Professional Landmen Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah (April 2014)
  • "Broker-Dealer: Never Make Registration Decisions Based on Assumptions," Contributor, VC Experts (October 24, 2013)
  • "Mid-Career Crisis or Success? The Business Lawyer’s Essential Toolkit Part 2," Co-Presenter, Utah Bar Convention, Snowmass Village, Colorado (July 18, 2013)
  • Utah Legal Elite, Up and Coming: Corporate Law and Transactions, Utah Business magazine (2012)
  • Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce
    • Capital Club
    • Transportation Task Force, Committee Member
  • Glen L. Rudd Foundation, 2014 Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser Committee Member
  • Young Benefactors of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Past Executive Committee Member
  • Young Artist Chamber Group, Board Member
  • Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Associate (2001-2004)