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Trio of firms advise on private hire

Trio of firms advise on private hire

GILBERT + TOBIN, Freehills and Allens Arthur Robinson are advising on one of the largest merger deals in Australia involving private equity.Under a propo

GILBERT + TOBIN, Freehills and Allens Arthur Robinson are advising on one of the largest merger deals in Australia involving private equity.

Under a proposed scheme of arrangement, joint venture partners The Carlyle Group and National Hire have bid $3 billion for Coates Group’s rental operations.

Gilbert + Tobin is advising private equity firm The Carlyle Group, Freehills is advising National Hire, and Allens is advising Coates.

“The merged entity would be the largest created by a private equity sponsored public-to-private transaction in Australia to date,” said Gilbert + Tobin’s lead partner on the deal, Bryan Pointon.

“It would also be the first example of private equity joint venturing with strategic partners in the industrial sector, and the first significant private equity acquisition in Australia since concerns arose out of the US subprime mortgage market.”

Freehills’ team was led by Mark Crean, Rebecca Maslen-Stannage and Kristin Stammer. Allens’ team was led by partners Stuart McCulloch, Alex Ding and Tom Story.

The deal would see Coates’ rental operations merge with National Hire’s rental businesses under the Ned Operations Group. Coates’ independent board committee signed a scheme agreement earlier this month totalling $6.97 per share, including franking credits, after rejecting previous offers from the joint venture partners.

“The continuation of current operations, pursuit of value enhancing strategies and implementation of strategic initiatives we announced last month was a realistic plan to deliver growth into the future,” said Coates’ chairman, Bill Cutbush.

A general meeting of Coates’ shareholders to vote on the deal is expected to be held in December.

As well as Pointon, the Gilbert + Tobin team was led by Charles Bogle, assisted by Hiroshi Narushima and Timothy Perry. Gary Lawler, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, Nick Taylor, Rachel Launders and David Watkins worked on aspects of the transaction.

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