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RELEASE: Mike McFadden’s company scrubs deal highlighted in Franken ad

Mike McFadden’s company scrubs deal highlighted in Franken ad
Once-featured restructuring of Smurfit-Stone suddenly vanishes from website

ST. PAUL [10/25/14] — Investment banker Mike McFadden’s company Lazard Middle Market has suddenly scrubbed all mentions of its work on the Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation restructuring deal featured in the Franken campaign’s new ad, “Wasteland,” which details the devastation that occurred as a result of the deal.

In 2009 and 2010, McFadden’s company advised the restructuring of Smurfit Stone. During the restructuring, Smurfit-Stone shuttered a Montana mill, laying off all 417 workers. McFadden’s company walked away with a $9 million fee from the deal.

At a press conference Friday morning, McFadden tried to distance himself from the deal, saying, “They made reference that I’m the CEO of Lazard. I’m not the CEO of Lazard.” But unfortunately for McFadden, he WAS the CEO of Lazard Middle Market, which featured its work on the Smurfit-Stone restructuring deal prominently on its website on his watch.

Here are the facts:

FACT: Lazard Middle Market has long boasted about its work on the restructuring on its website, but that content has been abruptly taken down

FACT: Despite news reports more than a year old, the Smurfit-Stone restructuring deal continued to remain a featured transaction on Lazard Middle Market’s website.

“In a third instance, Lazard Middle Management helped the Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. navigate bankruptcy and debt restructuring, in the process shuttering mills in Michigan and Montana. McFadden did not respond to emails and a voicemail, so it’s unclear how he will present his business experience in a Senate campaign…” [POLITICO, 5/3/13]

“Lazard Middle Market Co-CEO Mike McFadden has taken a leave of absence from his duties at the Minneapolis investment bank, managing director Bob Burns said Friday … Reported Politico: ‘Published reports show that in at least three cases, Lazard Middle Management has been hired to advise companies that subsequently cut workers or moved jobs overseas … In a third instance, Lazard Middle Management helped the Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. navigate bankruptcy and debt restructuring, in the process shuttering mills in Michigan and Montana.’” [Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, 5/31/13]

Here’s a version of the website that has the deal featured as recently as last week.

Here’s another version of the website that has the deal featured as recently as August.

FACT: This isn’t the first time McFadden has been caught trying to distance himself from a deal the company did and featured prominently on the Lazard Middle Market website. Last May, on his second day as a Senate candidate, McFadden tried to claim his company played no role in the debt restructuring of NewPage Corporation in Duluth. Unfortunately for McFadden, that deal was also featured on his company’s website as a deal his company had done.

“But McFadden’s campaign manager, Tom Erickson, said McFadden and his company, Lazard Middle Market, had nothing to do with the restructuring…. But Lucking said McFadden’s company did play a role in NewPage’s restructuring. She points to Lazard Middle Market’s website that says NewPage was one of the transactions done by McFadden’s company.” [MPR, 5/30/13]

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