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Blakes equal to the challenge

Blakes equal to the challenge

Blake Dawson Waldron (BDW) acted on the recent $210 million entitlement offer of Challenger Infrastructure Fund (CIF) in the capacity of adviser to Challenger Listed Investments Limited, CIF’s…

Blake Dawson Waldron (BDW) acted on the recent $210 million entitlement offer of Challenger Infrastructure Fund (CIF) in the capacity of adviser to Challenger Listed Investments Limited, CIF’s responsible entity.

Under the offer, CIF unit holders were able to subscribe for one new Class A security for every three existing securities held. The fund was established to develop a diversified portfolio of global infrastructure assets. BDW also advised on CIF’s IPO in July — the entitlement offer was announced two weeks after its completion.

The proceeds of the entitlement will primarily repay debt facilities obtained to fund CIF’s participation in a consortium for the acquisition of Inexus Group (Holdings) Limited, the largest gas transporter in the UK. The fund is the lead investor in the consortium, having taken an 80.4 per cent interest.

Corporate partner Matt Anderson led the BDW team, which included corporate partner Bruce MacDonald, senior associate Michael Vardanega and lawyers Kristie Brown, Corey McHatten and Marlia Saunders.

“I think the most interesting part was the acquisition happening so quickly after the IPO,” Anderson said. “It is probably one of the quickest public capital raisings post IPO any entity has ever done.

“The transaction was announced within two weeks of the IPO being completed, at which point the expected floor price was announced, so it was very important for the deal to be executed quickly.”

MacDonald said that with any transaction that followed so quickly after another, it was important to “make the most out of what you have already done”. Challenger used the same team of advisers on both the IPO and the entitlement offer.

“That team was already very familiar with the IPO assets so the due diligence was executed very effectively,” he said.

Anderson said Inexus was a strategic asset for Challenger, not only for the diversity it lent to the fund’s portfolio, but as a demonstration of “Challenger’s ability to secure an asset as the sponsor … that was effectively leading the consortium as opposed to someone taking a minority equity stake in a consortium”. It was the first time the fund had taken a controlling interest.

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