Russell McVeagh has been shortlisted across a broad spectrum of awards ahead of this year's NZ Law Awards, including Deal Team of the Year, Employer of Choice, Large Law Firm of the Year, and for 12 deals across the deals award categories. Additionally, Banking and Finance partner David Weavers is a finalist for Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year. This comes off the back of a successful last 12 months, where Russell McVeagh's Corporate M&A team was recognised as NZ Deal Team of the Year at the 2019 NZ Law Awards.
Twelve deals that the firm advised on have been recognised as finalists across five deal categories, including:
M&A Deal of the Year
The firm's major M&A deals recognised include the NZ$2.56 billion sale of Trade Me to Apax Partners, which partner David Raudkivi advised Trade Me on and was the biggest ever public takeover in New Zealand by scheme of arrangement. Raudkivi also advised Samling Group on the share sale of Hikurangi Forest Farms to New Forests – the largest forestry transaction of 2019.
Debt Market Deal of the Year
Led by Banking and Finance partner Deemple Budhia, Russell McVeagh's team advised on the LGFA syndicated bonds offer, which comprised LGFA's first two syndicated offers of bonds. The initial bond issue of $1 billion was the largest single issue of bonds in the New Zealand domestic debt market by a non-sovereign issuer. In this category, the team's work has also been recognised on the Argosy Green Bonds issuance. Argosy is one of New Zealand's largest property companies listed on the NZX and this was its first capital markets issuance.
Equity Market Deal of the Year
Three of Russell McVeagh's equity market deals have been named among the finalists, including Kathmandu's $144.5 million underwritten Accelerated Renounceable Entitlement Offer (AREO) to acquire Rip Curl, which was led by David Raudkivi. Oceania Healthcare Holdings' $301.4 million underwritten block trade and Serko's $56 million capital raise are also shortlisted, with Corporate partner Ian Beaumont leading the firm's work on both deals.
Project Finance Deal of the Year
Russell McVeagh's continued involvement in many of New Zealand's biggest infrastructure projects has seen the firm pick up three finalist placings for Project Finance Deal of the Year, including for Auckland's City Rail Link. The City Rail Link is the largest transport infrastructure project ever to be undertaken in New Zealand and will allow the network to at least double its rail capacity. Partner Mei Fern Johnson acted for KiwiRail, the national owner and operator of New Zealand's rail network. Similarly, the Southern Cross Cable is another significant infrastructure project which will see a new, approximately US$300m, undersea internet cable run between New Zealand, the United States and Australia. Led by Ian Beaumont, the firm acted for Spark New Zealand as the majority shareholder in this deal, which made Telstra a 25% shareholder of Southern Cross and an anchor customer of SX NEXT.
Mid-Market Deal of the Year
Russell McVeagh's team advised on two finalist deals in the Mid-Market Deal of the Year category, including the sale of Frost Fans, which Corporate partner David Hoare advised on. Funds managed and advised by Pencarrow acquired a 75% stake in this innovative New Zealand company which produces crop protection technology.
At last year's NZ Law Awards, Russell McVeagh was also recognised for its role in the deals that won Mid-Market Deal of the Year (Waimea Community Dam), Consumer, Media and Tech Deal of the Year (Bounty Fresh takeover of Tegel), and International Deal of the Year (AIA acquisition of Sovereign life insurance business from CBA). Additionally, Corporate partner Liz Blythe was named New Zealand's Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year.
The firm would like to extend congratulations to all finalists, particularly in the in-house categories, and wish them well for the upcoming awards ceremony which is due to be hosted in Auckland on 12 November at The Cordis.
A full list of finalists can be viewed here.