Russell McVeagh logs strong performance during COVID-19

The firm advised on several significant capital raisings and sales transactions while the country was in lockdown

Russell McVeagh logs strong performance during COVID-19

Russell McVeagh has logged a strong performance even as the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a blow to New Zealand’s economic environment.

The firm confirmed its role in three major sales transactions and four massive capital raisings while the country was in lockdown. These included the sale of ANZ’s asset finance business UDC Finance to Shinsei Bank for $762m, and the $1.2bn capital raising effort for Auckland Airport.

Sale of Ultrafast Fibre Holdings shares by WEL Network

Corporate partner Mei Fern Johnson was the lead partner in a team that advised WEL Network as it sold its 85% stake in Ultrafast Fibre (UFF) Holdings as part of the latter’s acquisition by First State Investments for $854m.

The firm said that WEL Networks seeks to boost investment in its core electricity network and new energy options. The deal awaits approval from the Overseas Investment Office and change of control clearance.

Management buyout of Stuff

Russell McVeagh also assisted Nine Entertainment on a management buyout transaction that involved the sale of New Zealand’s largest news site, Stuff. As part of the deal, Stuff CEO Sinead Boucher paid $1 to purchase the site.

Partners David Raudkivi, Sarah Keene, Anna Crosbie and Fred Ward comprised the team that worked on the transaction. Raudkivi had previously advised Stuff on the sale of Stuff Fibre to Vocus last month.

$207m raising for Kathmandu Holdings

Led by Raudkivi, Russell McVeagh’s team served as lead adviser to underwriters Craigs Investment Partners, Credit Suisse, Forsyth Barr and Jarden in a deal that involved the first accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer (ANREO) made in the country. This deal was also the first capital raising effort to apply NZX relief.

$45m placement and ANREO for Augusta Capital

Under the leadership of corporate partner Ian Beaumont, the firm advised Jarden and Forsyth Barr, the underwriters in Augusta Capital’s equity raising involving a $45m placement and ANREO. Centuria held a cornerstone stake in the raise.

First raising by an ASX- and NZX-listed company to apply the ASX waivers

Russell McVeagh was tapped by Goldman Sachs and Forsyth Barr to serve as lead adviser in their role as underwriters in a capital raising by Sky Television Network. Sky is the first ASX- and NZX-listed issuer to apply the new ASX capital raising class waivers.

The deal involved a $157m placement and ANREO, which “necessitated an NZX waiver to allow the accelerated renounceable entitlement offer to exceed the 2:1 cap permitted under the NZX class waiver for accelerated renounceable entitlement offers,” the firm said.

The team was led by corporate partner Dan Jones.

“We've been really proud of how our teams have pulled together during this period to provide a seamless service to our key clients on these large, complex deals—ensuring positive outcomes for both our clients and for the New Zealand economy,” said David Hoare, Russell McVeagh’s national practice group chair for corporate advisory.  

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