Clayton Utz advised Canadian cold storage facilities operator Versacold Holdings Corp on its acquisition of P&O Cold Logistics, a refrigerated warehousing and distribution business, from the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O).
Will Moncrieff, corporate partner, led the team, drawn from the firm’s Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane offices, which included partner Peter Wilkes, senior associate Scott Girdler and solicitor Brett Cohen.
The acquisition cost Versacold approximately C$382 million ($435 million) and involved acquisitions in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina, and a simultaneous debt and equity raising by Versacold in Canada. It is now the second largest public refrigerated warehousing provider in the world.
“That necessitated in the US, Australia and elsewhere that transactions for the acquisition and financing to take place simultaneously,” Moncrieff said. “Given those cross jurisdictional aspects, it made the closing quite a lengthy process.”
Another feature of the deal, he said, was that it had been part of P&O’s “general divestment of non-core assets” which had made the company a more attractive takeover target, as evidenced by competing bids from PSA International in Singapore and Dubai Ports.
The firm worked closely with Versacold’s Canadian advisers Fraser Milner Casgrain, US advisers Stoel Rives and New Zealand advisers Simpson Grierson.
Clayton Utz, Fraser Milner Casgrain and Simpson Grierson are all members of the Pacific Rim Advisory Council.