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Trio of firms act on multi-billion-dollar merger

Trio of firms act on multi-billion-dollar merger

Gilbert + Tobin Garry Besson

Ashurst, Allens and Minter Ellison have facilitated a merger that will create the third largest retail real estate investment trust (A-REIT) in Australia.

Firms: Ashurst (Novion Property Group); Allens Linklaters and Minter Ellison (Federation Centres)

Deal: Novion and Federation have entered into a merger implementation agreement to merge subject to certain conditions.

Value: $11 billion

Area: M&A

Key players: The Ashurst team was led by partner Garry Besson (pictured), along with senior associate Anton Harris, from the firm’s corporate group. Funds partner Michael Ryland, banking partner Paul Jenkins, stamp duty experts Barbara Phair and Geoff Mann, competition partner Bill Reid, disputes partner Sonia Tame, IP partner Kellech Smith and employment partner Jennie Mansfield also assisted on the deal.

Minters tax partners Bastian Gasser, Adrian Varrasso and John Riley advised Federation in relation to the structuring of the transaction; while M&A partner Bart Oude-Vrielink advised on a number of corporate issues.

The Allens team on the matter was led by partner Craig Henderson.

Deal significance: The merged group will have a market capitalisation of over $11 billion, making it the third largest A-REIT and an ASX top 30 entity. The group will have ownership or management of 102 retail assets worth more than $22 billion.

Federation’s chairman Bob Edgar said, “The combination of Novion and Federation provides Federation security holders with an opportunity to create significant value by forming one of Australia’s leading REITs.”

The proposed merger is subject to security holders' approval.

Full implementation of the merger is expected to take place in June 2015.

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