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Billion-dollar merger underway

Billion-dollar merger underway

Rebecca Maslen-Stannge

Two firms have advised on the impending billion-dollar merger of APN Outdoor Group Limited and oOh!media.

Firms: Gilbert + Tobin (APN Outdoor Group Limited); Herbert Smith Freehills (oOh!media)

Deal: APN Outdoor Group Limited and oOh!media have announced they have entered into a scheme of arrangement to merge on or around April 2017.

Value: $1.6 billion

Area: M&A

Key players: The legal team advising APN Outdoor Group Limited was led by Gilbert + Tobin partners Peter Cook, Rachael Bassil and Gina Cass-Gottlieb, with assistance from special counsel Jennifer Barron and lawyers Alastair Corrigall, Olivia Blakiston and Madeleine Brett-Williams.

The legal team advising oOh!media was led by Herbert Smith Freehills partners Rebecca Maslen-Stannage (pictured below), Mark Currell, Liza Carver and Michael Gonski, with assistance from senior associates Malika Chandrasegaran and Lauren Selby, solicitors Calvin Shaw, Rommo Pandit, Claire Koller-Smith, Timothy Gonski and Joshua Santilli, and graduate lawyers Alice Gardoll and Hilary Starr.

oOh!media general counsel and company secretary Kate Eastoe acted in the deal as an internal legal adviser.

Deal significance: The merger combines two out-of-home media companies with complementary long-term assets across classic, digital and online platforms, including a large portfolio of digital assets.

The merged group will have an enhanced geographic presence across Australia and New Zealand, with 8,985 digital and 63,200 classic screens and panels across metropolitan and regional locations.

The two companies will merge via an all-scrip scheme of arrangement, to be implemented on or around April 2017, with oOh!media shareholders to receive 0.83 APN Outdoor shares for each oOh!media share held.

“We love working with the oOh!media team. They apply in the deal context the same energy that has led to the growth of their business. It’s fun and inspiring to work with such an engaged and dynamic team,” said Herbert Smith Freehills partner Rebecca Maslen-Stannge.

Gilbert + Tobin partner Rachael Bassil said the G+T team had been very active in M&A transactions throughout 2016, and this transaction further cemented the firm’s market-leading position.

“We are very pleased to have acted for APN Outdoor on this significant transaction and to continue on their successful journey since IPO,” she said.

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