THE CHRISTCHURCH office of Buddle Findlay has worked with Allens Arthur Robinson to advise the New Zealand-based Ravensdown Fertiliser Co-operative on their merger with Western Australian co-operative, United Farmers.
The unique transaction crossed a number of different borders and was therefore impacted by Australian, New Zealand and Western Australian securities laws. AAR and Buddle Findlay teamed up to coordinate matters with the three regulators.
The transaction has seen Ravensdown, a fertiliser supplier, become the first trans-Tasman cooperative in the farming sector. Currently the third largest fertiliser distributor in WA, United Farmers already has around a 15 per cent market share.
Darren Murphy, partner at AAR said only hard work could make up for the fact there was no existing template for this type of transaction. “It was pleasing to be able to implement a cross-border cooperative structure, which is seen as an important element of the business going forward,” he said.
Jan Etwell, partner at Buddle Findlay said the deal was a good example of New Zealand and Australian firms cooperating to get a deal done efficiently. "With more and more deals spanning the Tasman the key is for the lawyers on both sides to work together as seamlessly as possible," she said.
The deal required the approval of members of United Farmers, 98 per cent of whom voted in favour of the proposal.