THE MERGER between Suncorp-Metway and Promina Group was named the 2007 M&A deal of the year at the recent Insto Distinction Awards, with Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Freehills both walking away with awards for their role as legal advisors on the deal.
Partner Teresa Handicott headed up the Corrs team advising Suncorp, while the Freehills team advising Promina was lead by partner Philippa Stone.
Insto described the deal as a “market stopping” transaction, which lead to the creation of a top-15 ASX-listed company with over 8 million customers and a market value exceeding $20 billion. According to Corrs, it was the second biggest financial services transaction in Australia’s history.
Other than its sheer size, a feature setting this deal apart from the pack was the unique financing structure that was adopted with underwriter Citigroup, to ensure compliance with particular prudential requirements applying to Suncorp. Adding yet a further layer of complexity, for the deal to go ahead, amendments needed to be made to Queensland law to remove the present rule that a majority of Suncorp board members must be from Queensland.
Mallesons Stephen Jaques was also a winner on the night, being named the 2007 law firm of the year.