International law firms topped their local rivals in Australian M&A deals in the past month, new figures obtained by The New Lawyer reveal.
US-based real estate law firm Pircher, Nichols & Meeks, as well as White & Case, scooped the largest announced Australian M&A deal last month in Sydney-based Westfield’s announced sale of seven malls in the United States to Starwood Capital Group LLC for US$1 billion (AUD$965m). The firms advised Starwood, while Debevoise & Plimpton advised Westfield on the deal.
The figures, released by mergermarket to The New Lawyer, show Clayton Utz worked on the second largest announced deal of April, advising Brookfield Asset Management in its bid for a 100 per cent stake in Thakral Holdings. The deal is worth AUD$734m.
Allens Arthur Robinson and King & Wood Mallesons share the next largest deal, with Aquila Resources’ $430m announced sale of its half interest in the Isaac Plains coal mine in Queensland. Allens is advising Sumitomo Corporation, which has been given Foreign Investment Review Board approval to make the acquisition. Mallesons is advising Aquila Resources on the deal.
Mayer Brown is advising on the Caterpillar dealer WesTrac deal, as it looks to add underground coalminers to its client base with the AUD$389m acquisition of the Bucyrus mining equipment business in Australia. The firm is advising Caterpillar Inc on what was the fourth largest announced deal in Australian M&A last month.
Freehills and Ashurst are next in line in terms of size of announced M&A deals, with DirectCash Payments agreement with Customers Limited to acquire its outstand shares for $1.27 per share in cash. Ashurst is advising DirectCash Payments on the deal, worth AUD$199m.