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Ben Paterson

Partner

Corporate Advisory

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Profile

Ben is a key dealmaker for Russell McVeagh, with significant expertise in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, corporate law, joint ventures and overseas investment. Ben has a particular focus on private equity transactions and regularly acts for some of the leading offshore and domestic private equity funds, including Pacific Equity Partners, CPE Capital (formerly CHAMP Private Equity), The Riverside Company and Carlyle, as well as some of New Zealand's most well-known companies such as Fonterra and Lion. He is trusted and highly valued for his ability to work cooperatively and achieve exceptional and commercially focused results. 

Ben also has extensive experience in advising on New Zealand's foreign investment laws and advising receivers and administrators on restructuring and insolvency related M&A. He has co-authored the New Zealand chapter of the global publication Getting the Deal Through - Foreign Investment Review 2022 as well as the Chambers and Partners Global Practice Guide 2021 - Private Equity. 

Experience

Ben's private equity work highlights include acting for:

  • CPE Capital on its acquisition, and subsequent sale, of a key New Zealand transport and infrastructure asset.
  • Pioneer Capital on its investment in Optimal Workshop.
  • The Riverside Company on its acquisition of the Hiway Group.
  • Advent International on its acquisition, through its portfolio company Industria Chimica Emiliana, of New Zealand Pharmaceuticals.
  • Pacific Equity Partners on its acquisition, and subsequent sale to Guoco, of Manuka Health New Zealand.


Ben's other M&A and transactional work highlights include acting for:

  • Fonterra on its $592 million sale of its China dairy farms.
  • Fonterra on its $633 million sale of DFE Pharma to CVC.
  • The founders of Mondiale on the divestment of a 50% stake to Direct Capital. 
  • An underbidder for Ziwi Pet Food. 
  • Sinch on the New Zealand aspects of its US$1.3 billion acquisition of MessageMedia.


Ben's restructuring and insolvency work highlights include acting for:

  • The receivers of Sacred Hill wines on the sale of the Sacred Hill assets. 
  • Tahua Capital on the acquisition of Burger King New Zealand.
  • Oaktree Capital on the restructuring of, and investment in, the Mediaworks Group.


Private equity work highlights (continued) include acting for:

  • Five V Capital on the sale of Education Perfect to KKR.
  • The Carlyle Group on the New Zealand aspects of its acquisition of Accolade Wines.
  • The Riverside Company on its sale of Simcro (a market leader in livestock pharmaceutical delivery devices) to Datamars.
  • UP Education (a PEP portfolio entity) on its acquisition of NZ Tertiary College.
  • Pacific Equity Partners, on its acquisition of Horizon Global’s Asia Pacific unit, and subsequent sale of Auto Pacific to GUD Holdings.
  • Pacific Equity Partners on the New Zealand aspects of its A$1.14 billion sale of LifeHealthCare to EBOS.
  • Primavera Capital and Shanghai Pharma on their consortium acquisition (via a scheme of arrangement) of Vitaco Holdings.
  • CDH Fund V on its acquisition of an 80% interest in The Better Health Company (otherwise known as ‘Go Healthy’), a substantial New Zealand manufacturer and distributor of natural extracts and dietary supplements.
  • Pacific Equity Partners on its $700m sale of Griffin’s Foods to Universal Robina Corporation.
  • Pacific Equity Partners on its AU$670 million acquisition of 50% of SCA Hygiene Australasia.
  • CITIC on its investment in LanzaTech.
  • Crescent Capital and New Zealand Panels Group on the acquisition of the Bestwood and Kopine businesses from Carter Holt Harvey.
  • Crescent Capital on the sale of Simply Squeezed juices to Frucor and the sale of Brandlines to DKSH. 
  • Crescent Capital on New Zealand aspects of the dual track IPO/trade sale process for disposal of the National Hearing Care and Bay Audiology group (ultimately divested to Amplifon in 2010 for AU$460m).


M&A and transactional work highlights (continued) include acting for:

  • Cedar Pacific on its acquisition of a student accommodation concession at the University of Canterbury.
  • The shareholders of 180 Degrees crackers on the sale of a 100% stake to Arnotts (owned by funds advised by KKR).
  • United Rentals on the New Zealand aspects of its $996 million acquisition of General Finance Corporation (which owns and operates the Royal Wolf business in New Zealand).
  • Lion on its acquisition of Havana Coffee.
  • Manuka Health New Zealand on its acquisition of Neuseelandhaus GmbH (a German distributor).
  • A bidder for Tip Top. 
  • Lion on its acquisition of Harrington's Breweries.
  • Lion – Dairy & Drinks on its sale of the Yoplait yoghurt business to Goodman Fielder.
  • Lion on its acquisition of Panhead Breweries.
  • Oceania Healthcare on its initial public offering and dual listing on the NZX and ASX.
  • Daiken on its acquisition of a large MDF (medium density fibreboard) production plant in Mataura from Dongwha International and Laminex.
  • Fonterra Co-operative Group on its $342m joint venture with Abbott Laboratories, to develop a hub of five large scale dairy farms in China.
  • Swissport on the New Zealand aspects of its acquisition of Aerocare (an Australian and New Zealand ground handling business).
  • Accor Hotels on the New Zealand aspects of its proposed acquisition of the Mantra Group (by way of scheme of arrangement).
  • A bidder for the Vector Gas transmission and non-Auckland distribution assets.
  • The shareholders of Hally Labels in their divestment of the Hally Labels group to Hexagon Mercury Capital.
  • Newmont Mining Corporation on its US$101m divestment of the Waihi Gold Mine to OceanaGold.
  • Griffin’s Foods Limited on the acquisition of 50.1% of the shares in Proper Snack Foods Limited.
  • Genesis Energy on its $735m IPO.
  • Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited on its establishment of ‘Trading Among Farmers’ including establishing a new private share market operated by NZX Limited, and an initial public offering by the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund and its listing on both the NZSX and ASX.
  • A bidder for the New Zealand and Australian consumer finance businesses of GE Capital.
  • Lion on its acquisition of Lindauer and other wine brands from Pernod Ricard.
  • Lion on the buyback of its Newmarket brewery site.
  • The shareholders of Torpedo7 on their sale to The Warehouse.
  • Tyco International on its divestment (to Evergreen Group) of its cash handling and security operations in New Zealand and Fiji.
  • CKI on its $490m acquisition of Envirowaste from Ironbridge.
  • The Secure Future Consortium on the Wiri Prison PPP.
  • An underbidder on the Transmission Gully PPP.


Other restructuring and insolvency work highlights include acting for:

  • The receivers on the sale of various assets of the Pumpkin Patch retail group.
  • The receivers on the sale of PK Furniture.
  • The receivers on the sale of various assets of the Hurlstone Earthmoving group.
  • The administrators of RedGroup on the sale of Whitcoulls and Bennetts.

Credentials

LLB (Hons), BSc (University of Canterbury).

Professional

Ben is ranked as 'Highly Regarded' in M&A and Private Equity by IFLR1000, recognised by Chambers and Partners 2022 Asia-Pacific and Global guides for Corporate/M&A, a Rising Star by NZ Lawyer, a 'Leading Individual' by Legal 500, and is also is recognised in the peer-reviewed Best Lawyers® 2022 guide for Corporate Law. 

Client feedback in Chambers and Partners 2022 Legal Guide emphasised Ben's expertise in the Corporate Advisory sector, stating Ben is:

  • "very hard working, exceptionally diligent, a creative problem solver"
  • "a highly competent deal executor"
  • "an excellent lawyer. A rising star."


Ben is part of our Corporate Advisory team, which has been named New Zealand's top deal firm at the 2019 New Zealand Law Awards

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