New Zealand > Corporate and M&A
Index of tables
Corporate and M&A
Other recommended firms
The ‘excellent’ team at Bell Gully has ‘real depth of knowledge’. It handled several significant takeovers, including Asahi’s $1.5bn acquisition of global company Independent Liquor and its $129.3m purchase of national brand Charlie’s. The firm also advised AMI Insurance on its sale to IAG; German company BayWa AG on its bid for Turners & Growers; and Blackstone on its purchase of Antares Restaurant Group, which included Burger King’s exclusive New Zealand franchise. Gavin Macdonald is recommended for M&A work, and Brynn Gilbertson and James Gibson are also names of note.
Chapman Tripp’s team – across Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch – ‘thinks outside the box’. It advised Quadrant on its partial exit from Summerset Group, and advised the government on its sale of AMI Insurance’s assets to IAG. The firm also acted for Telecom in its bid to Crown Fibre Holdings for the Ultra-fast Broadband project. John Strowger is highly recommended; ‘thinking lawyer’ Tim Tubman is ‘solutions oriented’ and ‘calm under pressure’; ‘excellent project manager’ Barry Brown is strong in M&A; and Roger Wallis is a regulatory ‘guru’.
Pip Greenwood at Russell McVeagh remains highly respected in the market, and led both on Telecom’s Ultra-fast Broadband bid and on the company’s $4.3bn demerger. Pat Bowler advised Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority on the legal design for its challenging Red Zone project, and represented Kiwirail in its $1.6bn industry rejuvenation. Graeme Quigley ‘seems able to get the essence of an issue quicker than others’, and Joe Windmeyer ‘thinks strategically’. Chris Bargery and Grant Kemble are also recommended.
Buddle Findlay has ‘very high ethical integrity’, and is particularly experienced in cross-border transactions. The firm advised Unitas Capital on selling portable building manufacturer Ausco Modula Pty to London-based private equity firm TDR Capital. It also acted for Olam International in its successful takeover of NZ Farming Systems Uruguay. Senior associate Amy Ryburn, a telecoms specialist, is ‘technically superb’ and ‘a future star’, and Sarah Roberts is also highly recommended. Simon Vodanovich heads the team.
A ‘unique’ and ‘well-connected’ niche practice, Harmos Horton Lusk is highly regarded for its M&A work. Greg Horton and Nathanael Starrenburg advised drinks company Charlie’s in its takeover by Asahi. The firm is also advising Fonterra on its Trading Among Farmers initiative, and Mighty River Power regarding the government’s planned move towards a mixed-ownership model. Andrew Harmos is ‘prominent in the market’, and highly recommended.
Cathy Quinn at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts acted on Guinness Peat’s sale of its shareholding in Turners & Growers to BayWa, and on Canadian Helicopter’s acquisition of Helicopters (N.Z.). The firm’s membership of the Minter Ellison group provides links to jurisdictions across Australia, Asia and Europe. The practice has been strengthened by the arrival of consultant Harriet Blackburn in Auckland and of former Kensington Swan lawyers Rodney Craig and Quentin Lowcay in Wellington.
Simpson Grierson advised private equity firm TPG Capital in its acquisition of a senior debt position in MediaWorks, and also advised Aptimize in its takeover by US company Riverbed Technology. Strong in public law, the firm also assisted 18 local authorities in establishing the New Zealand Local Government Funding Agency, which will borrow in the capital markets. James Craig is highly rated for his competition work, and Kevin Jaffe and Peter Hinton are also recommended.
DLA Phillips Fox won a number of new panel appointments, including All of Government, Foodstuffs, Hilton Hotels, Tiffany & Co, and ITT Corporation. It advised Gareth Morgan Investments on the sale of its investment management business to Kiwibank, and also acted on the cross-border restructure and sale of Hiway Holdings. Martin Wiseman heads the department. Rachel Taylor takes a ‘customer-centric approach’.
Boutique practice Lowndes Associates is representing Waipa Networks on its investment in Waikato Networks as part of the government’s Ultra-fast Broadband initiative, and is also advising plumbing co-operative NZPM on alternative capital funding structures. Securities specialist Mark Lowndes and Mike Whale are recommended. Allan McRae joined from Minter Ellison Rudd Watts.
‘Strategic’ boutique practice Webb Henderson has offices in Auckland, Sydney, Singapore and London, and advises clients across Australasia and the Middle East. The firm advised IAG on its acquisition of AMI Insurance, and acted on Goldman Sachs Australia’s sale of its private equity interest in Vision Senior Living. Garth Sinclair is ‘an exceptional M&A lawyer’, and competition lawyer Mark Toner ‘provides excellent leadership’.