AMA Group breakup leads firms into action

Four firms are involved in related transactions to the demerger and acquisition

AMA Group breakup leads firms into action

Four firms have sprung into action on the breakup of the AMA Group and related transactions.

AMA has announced the demerger of its automotive component, accessory, and procurement business. The post-demerger AMA and its remaining vehicle panel repairs business are being bought by private equity behemoth The Blackstone Group for an enterprise value of $508m.

Both are being effected by way of scheme of arrangement, which are subject to customary conditions, including approval of AMA shareholders and courts and the Foreign Investment Review Board, no material adverse change or prescribed occurrence taking place, and obtaining certain material third-party consents. The acquisition is expected to close in October.

Gilbert + Tobin (G+T) is acting for AMA on both transactions. Melbourne commercial law boutique Nicholson Ryan Lawyers advised AMA in its earlier takeover of Automotive Solutions Group, an automotive aftermarket products and services company.

Ashurst is the lead legal counsel for Blackstone. The firm says that the acquisition and demerger has a total value of $630m.

MinterEllison is the law firm of a syndicate of five investment and retail banks, which are Blackstone’s lenders in the bid to acquire the demerged AMA.

The G+T team is led by partner Costas Condoleon.

“The proposed demerger will allow the $200m automotive accessories business to pursue its global ambitions in a rapidly consolidating industry unconstrained by the demands of the panel repairs business from which it will demerge. And Blackstone’s $508m take-private proposal for the post-demerger business will give AMA Group shareholders an opportunity to realise value for their investment with an opportunity for ongoing exposure to the business under Blackstone control,” he said.

The Nicholson Ryan team was led by principals Leath Nicholson and Andrew Bini.

The Ashurst team is led by partner Mark Stanbridge, with partner Stuart Dullard and senior associates Scott Lai and Genovieve Lajeunesse. Partners Shawn Wytenburg (banking), Rob Jamieson and Tony Hill (environment and planning), Diane Skapinker (property), Jennie Mansfield (Employment and workplace health and safety), Anita Cade (IP), Peter Armitage (competition) and Lisa Simmons (funds) are also providing expert advice.

Partner John Mosley heads the MinterEllison team. He is supported by senior associates Matthew Kenny and Michael Scarf, lawyers Ryan Ruslim and Imogen Bailey, and graduate Rosie Connolly.

Colinton Capital Partners are AMA’s financial advisers, with Simon Moore leading. PwC is handling financial, tax, and accounting matters for the company.

Deloitte is acting as tax and accounting adviser to Blackstone, with a team led by Vik Khanna. UBS AG is the private equity firm’s financial adviser, led by Justin Dwyer.

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