DLA Piper confirms contribution to $1.46bn cross-border tech deal

The firm acted for a Christchurch software business on its acquisition by a NASDAQ-listed company

DLA Piper confirms contribution to $1.46bn cross-border tech deal

DLA Piper has confirmed its contribution to the $1.46bn cross-border tech deal that recently saw Christchurch software business Seequent Holdings Limited acquired by NASDAQ-listed company Bentley Systems, Inc.

The firm provided advice to tech investor Accel-KKR and Seequent, its portfolio company. Under the terms of the deal, Seequent sells 100% of its share capital to Bentley for a cash payment of $1.25bn and Class B Bentley stocks worth $208m.

“This was a complex transaction requiring genuine and deep private equity, tech, securities law and tax expertise across multiple jurisdictions, combined with the need to problem-solve and to find commercial solutions at speed,” said Reuben Woods, DLA Piper lead partner.

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Woods, a corporate M&A partner at DLA Piper, was supported by senior associate Sam Wilson and solicitor Alicia Williams. The cross-border transaction required the team to work across Australia, UK, US and Canada.

“Reuben and the entire DLA Piper team have been invaluable partners throughout our investment in Seequent. DLA Piper’s global footprint, coupled with technically excellent and commercially astute advice, helped make this large, complex, multi-jurisdictional process go very smoothly,” said Dean Jacobson, Accel-KKR managing director. “They have been great advisors and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

Seequent CEO Shaun Maloney praised DLA Piper’s approach.

“And once again the DLA Piper team show us why we engage them globally as our legal counsel of choice. Maybe it is the kiwi culture and attitude, but the professionalism and approachability of Reuben Woods, our primary contact during this last transaction, was exemplary,” he said.

Partners Rachel Taylor, David Johnston, Nick Valentine and Mark Williamson assisted the core DLA Piper team. Partner David Ryan and special counsel Kelly Morrison from Australia advised on the ASX aspects of the deal.

A team from the US also pitched in on the transaction. Partner Joey Silver took the lead with help from fellow partners Andrew Ledbetter and Drew Young.

Private equity investment firm Pencarrow also collaborated with DLA Piper on the deal. Pencarrow managing partner Nigel Bingham lauded DLA Piper’s team for its efforts in the face of COVID-19.

“Reuben and the DLA Piper team did a fantastic job of managing all the legal elements of a complex and large dual track cross-border transaction on behalf of Seequent and its shareholders during the middle of COVID-19, often having to work from home during lockdowns and international hours,” Bingham said. “They worked tirelessly to help achieve a great outcome for all involved.”

Bell Gully advised Bentley on the acquisition.

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