Robert A. Drobnak - Global Finance - Nixon Peabody LLP

Robert A. Drobnak

Rob Drobnak has significant experience in the structuring, negotiating, and documentation of credit facilities for acquisitions, working capital, and other general corporate purposes. Rob’s strong acumen around the entire life-cycles of finance transactions, including the negotiation, structuring, and documentation of deals from inception to close, during growth and workout phases and in sale, foreclosure, and other exit scenarios, helps clients to successfully navigate unexpected obstacles and achieve their goals. Rob also represents borrowers, lenders, and investors in out-of-court workouts, restructurings, debtor-in-possession financings, and distressed investments regardless of involvement in the original transaction.

What do you focus on?

Commercial Finance and Restructuring

I represent banks and other financial institutions and funds in lending and debt-restructuring transactions, with extensive experience in cash-flow loans, ABLs, debtor-in-possession financings, senior and mezzanine facilities, out-of-court workouts and restructurings, and real estate transactions. I focus primarily on middle market transactions, but also represent parties in large-cap deals.

Private Equity and Alternative Investments

In addition to working for financing sources, I represent private equity portfolio companies and corporate borrowers in their commercial and acquisition financing, securitization, and distressed investment matters.

Selective Significant Engagements (including prior to joining Nixon Peabody)

  • Represent senior lender and arranger of senior and mezzanine facilities to, among other things, fund buyout of co-owners and subsequent refinancing of mezzanine facility
  • Represent mezzanine fund in second lien financing and associated equity co-investment for strategic acquisition by private equity portfolio company
  • Represent investment fund in distressed senior secured financing to national gaming and entertainment retailer and successful exit
  • Represent private equity portfolio company in bridge financing and refinancing of existing senior debt and bridge notes
  • Represent senior lender in financing to refinance existing debt and fund an acquisition of a carve-out product line
  • Represent international heavy product distributor in forbearance and workout of asset-based revolver and subsequent refinancing
  • Counsel to company in $115 million financing for the formation and implementation of an employee stock ownership plan
  • Counsel to lender in providing secured credit facility to national gaming and entertainment retailer
  • Counsel to lender in providing equipment and working capital financing to a card manufacturer
  • Counsel to Debtor in bankruptcy case of Clare Oaks, a continuing care retirement community, including bond restructuring as part of the exit financing
  • Counsel to DIP Lender in bankruptcy case of St. Mary of the Woods, a continuing care retirement community
  • Counsel to the special servicer in the modification and restructuring of $135,000,000 securitized mortgage loans secured by a Chicago office building
  • Counsel to Debtors in bankruptcy cases of Fairview Ministries and certain affiliates, a continuing care retirement community
  • Counsel to Debtor in bankruptcy case of Olde Prairie Block Owner, a real estate development enterprise
  • Counsel to borrower in restructuring of $70 million CMBS securitization of a well-known public golf course in Arizona
  • Counsel to lead arranger and agent for pre-petition senior secured credit facilities and restructuring of prepetition capital structure in conjunction with notes issued under multiple indentures, DIP loan and exit facility to leading window and door manufacturer
  • Counsel to lead arranger and agent in workout of debt financing for paper and plastic manufacturer
  • Counsel to lead arranger and agent in construction and workout of credit facilities for racing and casino enterprise
  • Counsel to lead arranger and agent in workout of senior secured credit facilities for leading provider of performance electronics, which included a debt-for-equity swap
  • Counsel to UBS, as lead arranger and agent, for the $193.7 million multi-currency senior debt financing of SGS International (consisting of a revolving credit facility, future acquisition facility and term loan facility) and subsequent amendments, including an amendment and extension transaction; also originally included a $200 million bond issuance underwritten by UBS
  • Counsel to lead arranger and agent of $1.9 billion debt financing consisting of asset-based revolver, senior term loans and junior term loans for leading distributor of PVF and related products and services to the energy industry (including subsequent incorporation of secured high-yield notes into the capital structure)
  • Counsel to UBS, as lead arranger and agent, for the $200 million asset-based syndicated revolving credit facility to Massey Energy and its subsidiaries (which included upsizings and other amendments)
  • Counsel to lead arranger and agent of $900 million credit facilities consisting of mezzanine, first lien and second lien loans for the acquisition of kitchen and food crafting products, scrapbooking supplies and other crafting products
  • Counsel to UBS, as lead arranger and agent, for the $600 million asset-based revolving credit syndicated credit facility for Linens N’ Things and its subsidiaries
  • Counsel to lead arranger and agent for the $350 million asset-based revolving credit facility in conjunction with the $765 million CMBS facility for the acquisition of a department store


  • Co-Presenter, "Negotiating and Documenting DIP Financing Transactions," American Bar Association 2012 Annual Meeting, April 4, 2012
  • Presenter, “Avoiding UCC Mistakes in Business Transactions,” February 26, 2009, Oak Brook, IL

Big changes in SBAs EIDL program sparks new interest

Rochester Business Journal | October 08, 2021

Rochester Complex Commercial Disputes associate Eric Ferrante contributed this column highlighting recent changes to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program that may make it more attractive to businesses on the fence about seeking government relief funds. The article is based on a client alert Eric co-authored with Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Morgan Nighan, Chicago Global Finance partner Robert Drobnak, and Director of Global Strategies David Kaufman.

Fed’s Main Street Faces Hurdles

Bloomberg News | June 22, 2020

Chicago Global Finance partner Rob Drobnak was quoted in this article for his outlook on the Federal Reserve’s expanded Main Street lending program and its appeal to businesses and lenders.


Robert A. Drobnak



Phone: 312-977-4348

Fax: 844-558-3818

University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., Articles Editor, Journal of International Economic Law

Bradley University, B.S., Finance, summa cum laude

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit


U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

  • Selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 in the field of Banking and Finance Law. He has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2021.
  • Illinois Super Lawyers "Rising Star" in Banking Law, 2009-2011
  • Commercial Finance Association
  • Turnaround Management Association, Chicago/Midwest Chapter
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