JOHNSON Winter and Slattery has advised a leading Australian agribusiness on a $1.6 billion scheme of arrangement to foster its sale.
The ABB Grain Limited arrangement will allow Canadian agribusiness firm Viterra to purchase business. The transaction was announced in May this year and over the past four months, has been approved by ABB Grain shareholders, the Federal Court of Australia and finally implemented last Wednesday, 23 September.
The transaction is one of the largest public mergers and acquisitions transactions in recent times involving foreign scrip as consideration.
Viterra Shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and, as part of the transaction, Viterra CDIs (CHESS depositary interests) were listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
John Keeves, lead JWS partner on the transaction, said: “It is very pleasing to have completed such a significant and complex strategic transaction for our long-time relationship client ABB Grain.
"This transaction represents a key step in the anticipated consolidation of Australian agribusiness industry. It also shows that, in the right circumstances, there can be significant appetite for foreign scrip deals in Australia.”
The transaction has added to JWS’s experience in agricultural and allied industries, the firm said, supplementing previous experience with the ABB Grain and AWB merger discussions, the three-way ABB Grain-AusBulk-UGH merger and wine industry experience.