Russell McVeagh was the proud winner of the Equity Market Deal of the Year Award and Project Finance Deal of the Year Award at last night's 2022 New Zealand Law Awards held at Auckland's Cordis.
Equity Market Deal of the Year: Fonterra Co-operative Group capital structure review
Corporate partner Joe Windmeyer and litigation partners Kirsten Massey and Craig Shrive led the team working alongside Webb Henderson to assist Fonterra in its review of its capital structure and inter-relationship with the Fonterra Shareholders Fund.
Project Finance Deal of the Year: KiwiRail loan facility to purchase passenger and freight rail ferries
KiwiRail's $350 million loan facility, the first shipping loan in the world to be certified under the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI's) framework, was led by Banking and Finance partner John Powell and Corporate partner Mei Fern Johnson. Russell McVeagh partnered with Ernst & Young (Richard Wallace & Mike Isles) to guide KiwiRail through the legal aspects of the green loan framework and implementation, which involved KiwiRail demonstrating a clear path for fuel and propulsion systems achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050, and supporting both KiwiRail and New Zealand Government objectives.
This project was also recognised as a Project Finance finalist in the pan-Asia IFLR Asia-Pacific Awards 2022 where Russell McVeagh was named National Law Firm of the Year earlier this year. You can read more on this deal here.
Russell McVeagh was further recognised with numerous Excellence Awards across 6 Awards categories including as an Excellence Awardee in Large Law Firm of the Year, Employer of Choice (>100 lawyers), and multiple Deal of the Year categories. Excellence Awards included for:
Equity Market Deals:
EBOS capital raise to finance Lifehealthcare acquisition
Corporate partner David Raudkivi advising EBOS' major shareholder in its cornerstone equity commitment, which anchored the capital raising. This significant transaction saw EBOS’ stock price increase significantly for many months following close creating value for all shareholders.
Allbirds Initial Public Offering
Allbirds Initial Public Offering, the first US company to extend direct IPO participation to New Zealanders based on the US prospectus, was led by David Raudkivi providing the New Zealand securities law advice. Allbirds raised over US$300m in its NASDAQ IPO, which resulted in a valuation in excess of $4 billion. Cooley advised the United States.
Winton Land Limited’s Initial Public Offering
David Raudkivi led the Russell McVeagh team advising Forsyth Barr and Jarden Securities, initially as joint lead managers, and subsequently as joint bookrunners, on the Winton Land Limited's Initial Public Offering.
Fidelity Life’s acquisition of Westpac Group's New Zealand life insurance business
Corporate partner Ian Beaumont led the team advising Westpac Group on the sale of its New Zealand life insurance business to Fidelity Life for $400 million. The sale includes a 15-year strategic alliance agreement for the exclusive provision of life insurance products to Westpac New Zealand retail customers. You can read more on this deal here.
Classic Group and New Zealand Super Fund partnership in Kaha Ake ("Stronger Together") housing program
Classic Group and New Zealand Super Fund partnership in Kaha Ake ("Stronger Together") housing program, was led by Corporate partners Tom Gillespie and David Hoare and Property partner Ed Crook (advising NZ Super Fund). The program establishes a new land development company and partnership that aims to develop and market a range of sites across New Zealand with a focus on meeting the increased demand for housing.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts' acquisition of Education Perfect
Corporate partner Ben Paterson led the team assisting Five V Capital, an Australian private equity fund manager, with the New Zealand aspects of the sale of Education Perfect, a NZ based on-line education company to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
Powering Australian Renewables’ and Mercury NZ’s acquisition of Tilt Renewables by Scheme of Arrangement.
Corporate partner Joe Windmeyer, with support from Marika Eastwick-Field (Partner, Litigation), Jeremy Upson (Senior Associate), and Rachael O'Malley (Senior Solicitor) acted for Tilt Renewables Limited, a developer, owner and operator of windfarms in Australia and NZ, in relation to the $3.24 billion divestment of Tilt's New Zealand windfarm assets and development pipeline to Mercury NZ and Australian windfarm assets and development pipeline to Powering Australian Renewables by way of scheme of arrangement.
Debt Market Deal:
ANZ Bank offer and issue of Tier 2 unsecured subordinated notes
Banking and Finance partner Guy Lethbridge, led the team acting as ANZ Bank's legal adviser in their retail offer and issue of $600 million unsecured subordinated notes. The issue was New Zealand's first issue of Tier 2 notes under the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's (RBNZ) new capital standards.
Russell McVeagh CEO Jo Avenell said, "On behalf of Russell McVeagh, it is an honour to have the mahi of our team acknowledged at the awards ceremony last night. I want to give a special thanks to our clients for the continued trust they put in our team to execute with excellence."
The NZ Law Awards bring together industry leaders to celebrate excellence in the legal profession, recognising the outstanding achievements of firms, in-house legal teams, and other industry professionals.
The firm would like to offer congratulation to this year's winners and Excellence Awardees, and in particular, winners of the in-house categories, including Fonterra, who won the Russell McVeagh In-house Team of the Year award, and James Radcliffe, General Counsel, Woolworths New Zealand, who won the In-house Lawyer of the Year Award.
A full list of the 2022 winners is available to view here.