Slater and Gordon in profit following separation of UK business

NRF, HSF teams advises on $15 billion Australian telco deal... Spinal Tap plaintiffs successfully keep their case alive...

Slater and Gordon in profit following separation of UK business

The recapitalization of Slater and Gordon and the separation of the ASX-listed business from its UK division has put the Australian firm on a stronger footing.

The firm’s latest results, announced to the ASX this week, show a significant net profit after tax on discontinued operations ($145.6m compared to a loss in 2017 of $472.4m). It was primarily due to the gain on disposal of the company’s UK operations which was part of the recapitalisation completed in December 2017.

Net loss after tax of continuing operations was also cut to $31.9m, down from the net loss of $74.5m in 2017.

Total revenue was lower than in 2017 due to the reduced size of the business ($159.3m vs $181.5m), but there was a significantly improved net asset position ($63.3m) compared to the net liabilities of $248.8m the previous year after the reinstatement of the firm's senior debt facility and separation of the UK business.

“The last twelve months have been a period of significant change for Slater & Gordon. We have implemented a strong program of initiatives we believe will set us up for long-term,” said chair James MacKenzie, who also paid tribute the firm’s staff, leadership, and board, for their part in the transformation.

NRF, HSF teams advises on $15 billion Australian telco deal
A merger between Vodafone Hutchison Australia and TPG Telecom is one of the largest ever in the Australian telecoms industry.

The deal will create an entity with a market value of around $15 billion.

Norton Rose Fulbright has acted for Vodafone Hutchison Australia while Herbert Smith Freehills has advised TPG Telecom.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s M&A senior partner John Elliott and telecommunications partner Martyn Taylor led the team which advised Vodafone Hutchison Australia on the scheme implementation deed, structuring of a joint venture, regulatory matters and all other legal issues underpinning the deal.

The merger of the two telcos is expected to shake up the Australian telecoms industry with the scale to provide a fully integrated telecommunications offer across mobile and fixed line services. Their combined client base will be almost 8 million.

Spinal Tap plaintiffs successfully keep their case alive
A motion to dismiss a case brought by the four creators of the iconic move This Is Spinal Tap has been defeated.

The historic litigation alleges breach of contract and fraud against French conglomerate Vivendi, StudioCanal and Ron Halpern.

The plaintiffs are seeking $400 million in damages for failing to provide full details of profits from This Is Spinal Tap. They also want to regain creative control of their intellectual property and copyright in the music and film.

Preeminent entertainment litigator Stanton "Larry" Stein and his team at Russ, August & Kabat have been engaged as new lead counsel in the creators' ongoing litigation.

"We welcome the opportunity to build on what Peter [Haviland of previous lead firm Ballard Spahr] and his team have done and to get to the merits of what I am sure will be ground-breaking litigation in protecting valuable rights for not only these four talented individuals, but for all creative artists," said Stein.

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