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Global firm dominates December deals

An international law firm advised on half of all the deals published by Lawyers Weekly in December, including the top two.

Of the 28 deals covered by Lawyers Weekly over the past month, Herbert Smith Freehills advised on 14. 

A number of mega deals were finalised in December, with seven deals over $1 billion and an average deal value of $2.44 billion.

Lawyers Weekly also published deal notices on 17 transactions that were under $1 billion and four that were confidential or undisclosed. 

The largest deal of the month was the proposed merger of DEXUS Property Group with Investa Office Fund, which, if successful, will result in a combined entity with $23.4 billion of assets.

This deal was advised on by rival firms Herbert Smith Freehills and King & Wood Mallesons.

The second largest deal was the acquisition of the TransGrid high-voltage electricity transmission network from the NSW government, acted on by Herbert Smith Freehills, Allens and Gilbert + Tobin.

King & Wood Mallesons was the second most active firm in the deals space during December, advising on a total of eight deals. Minter Ellison, Gilbert + Tobin, DLA Piper and HWL Ebsworth all followed, advising on three deals each.

Boutique 'NewLaw' firm Hive Legal advised on two M&A deals in December, both for the acquiring party.

One was a New Zealand media company acquisition with a confidential value, and the other was a $1.78 billion gas storage facility acquisition.

Hive Legal opened its doors in February 2014, founded by Mitzi Gilligan and Jacinda de Witts, formerly of Minter Ellison, along with Peter Monk and Simon Davidson, formerly of DLA Piper. Earlier this year they appointed former King & Wood Mallesons partner John Malon.

M&A was definitely the most active deal area in December, with 16 of the 28 deals falling in this category.

There were three deals in the healthcare sector this month: the sale of Profke Residential Aged Care portfolio to Japara Healthcare Limited for $102.5 million; the acquisition of Kennedy Health Care by Estia Health for $50 million; and the launch of a $20 million IPO by MedAdvisor.

Several renewable energy deals went ahead, including the $276 million financing of the 240MW Ararat wind farm in Victoria, the $22.8 million funding of Barcaldine Remote Community Solar Farm and the acquisition of renewable energy company Pacific Hydro.

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