Ben Paterson


Corporate Advisory

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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, The Riverside Company, Carlyle, Advent International and Pioneer Capital, 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 as well as the Chambers and Partners Global Practice Guide - Private Equity. 


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 acquisition of Coffee Supreme, and its investment in Optimal Workshop.

  • Pacific Equity Partners on its establishment of Agright New Zealand, an industry-leading poultry grower in Australia and New Zealand, through the acquisition of two large scale broiler chicken farming businesses in New Zealand.

  • The Riverside Company on its sale of the Hiway Group to Direct Capital.

  • 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:

  • QIC Private Capital Pty Limited on its acquisition of a 50% stake in Vector Metering, in a transaction valued at NZ$2.51 billion. 

  • Fonterra on its $592 million sale of its China dairy farms.

  • Fonterra on its $633 million sale of DFE Pharma to CVC.

  • The shareholders of Waipapa Pine Limited on the sale of Waipapa Pine and Renewable Wood Fuels to Fletcher Building.

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

  • Accolade Wines on its debt restructuring and recapitalisation.
  • 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:

  • Altus Group (a PEP portfolio entity) on its acquisition of Traffic Management NZ.

  • Pioneer Capital, Ngāi Tahu Capital and Tainui Group Holdings on the sale of Waikato Milking Systems to Interpump Group S.p.A.

  • Milford Private Equity on its investment in Blackbull Global.

  • ​Milford Private Equity on its investment in AECC Global.

  • Five V Capital on the sale of Education Perfect to KKR.

  • The Carlyle Group on the New Zealand aspects of its $1 billion acquisition of Accolade Wines.

  • The Riverside Company on its acquisition of Hiway Group.

  • 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:

  • The Genesis Energy / FRV joint venture on the development and project financing of the 63 MW Lauriston solar farm.

  • The Genesis Energy / FRV joint venture on the acquisition of a fully consented, 52 MW, solar project in Mid-Canterbury, New Zealand.

  • Stora Enso on its investment in CarbonScape.

  • Holcim on its demerger of its joint venture, AML, and the acquisition of 20 concrete plants from AML as part of the demerger. 

  • ​Genesis Energy on its establishment of a joint venture with the solar farm developer FRV Australia, to develop up to 500 MW of large-scale solar energy projects.

  • Holcim on its acquisition of Mercer Sands, a sand mining operation on the banks of the Waikato River. 

  • The founders of Mondiale on the divestment of a 50% stake to Direct Capital. 

  • Sinch on the New Zealand aspects of its US$1.3 billion acquisition of MessageMedia.

  • A bidder for Kiwi Wealth.

  • An underbidder for Ziwi Pet Food. 

  • 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 administrators of the NZ Ovato group.

  • ​The receivers on the sale of various assets of the Pumpkin Patch retail group.

  • The administrators on various aspects of the voluntary administration of CBL Insurance.

  • 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.


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


Ben is ranked as 'Highly Regarded' in M&A and Private Equity by IFLR1000, recognised by Chambers and Partners 2024 Asia-Pacific and 2024 Global guides for Corporate/M&A, a 'Leading Individual' by Legal 500, and is also is recognised in the peer-reviewed Best Lawyers® 2024 Guide for Private Equity, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Corporate Law. Ben was also recognised as a Rising Star by NZ Lawyer in 2020.

Client feedback in various legal guides emphasised Ben's expertise in the Corporate Advisory sector, stating Ben is:

  • "very hard working, exceptionally diligent, a creative problem solver"

  • "[known] for his ability to cut through complex issues"

  • "a highly experienced and knowledgeable corporate advisory lawyer. He not only brings legal expertise but rich commercial and deal expertise to the table"

  • ​"deeply methodical and walks us through the issues step by step"

  • "an excellent lawyer. A rising star"

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