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Deals February 13 2004

Deals February 13 2004

Linklaters and US-based Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz are advising French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Synthelabo on its hostile takeover bid for rival Aventis. The merger would create the…

Linklaters and US-based Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz are advising French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Synthelabo on its hostile takeover bid for rival Aventis. The merger would create the world’s third largest pharmaceutical company. The 52.3 billion euro ($85.8 billion) unsolicited mixed public offer for Aventis equity securities was launched on 26 January. Linklaters’ team is being led by partners Thierry Vassogne and Marc Loy, as well as Bertrand Cardi, all from the firm’s corporate M&A practice in France.

Deacons Perth office has acted for Retravision (WA) Ltd on the successful takeover of Retravision DAD Ltd, the company which operates the Retravision brand in SA and the NT. Perth corporate and commercial partner John Groppoli led the proceedings recently in Adelaide, successfully undertaking a due diligence investigation that was conditional to the sale. The team also acquired 78 per cent of the shares on issue and Retravision (WA) Ltd has provided clearance to all parties that they are satisfied with the results and that the sale will proceed. The controlling interest of Retravision DAD Ltd was acquired for a purchase price of approximately $5.3 million. The total transaction will be approximately $7 million. Once the acquisition has been completed, Retravision will undertake a major capital expansion and store rejuvenation program in SA and the NT.

Freehills advised ABN AMRO Australia Ltd in relation to the $1.1 billion financing of the Lane Cove Tunnel toll road project in Sydney which achieved financial closure on 9 December 2003. The project involves the construction of twin 3.4 km road tunnels which will link the Gore Hill Freeway at Artarmon with the M2 at East Ryde. Freehills acted for ABN AMRO as the sole debt arranger and underwriter for the Lane Cove Tunnel Company Consortium which also includes Theiss, John Holland and Transfield.

Banking and finance partners Patrick St John and Chris Robertson led the Freehills team, which included Adam Jeffrey, Adam Howell, Letitia Watson-Ley and Andrew Tam.

The firm said the financing of this project was a major development in the use of capital markets debt to fund major infrastructure projects, and the first green field toll road project in the world to be funded entirely in the capital markets.

Pillsbury Winthrop (International) represented Virgin Blue Holdings Limited, the Australian low-cost air carrier, in connection with its $2.7 billion initial public offering in Australia. The firm said the Virgin Blue IPO was a true “global” offering, and the largest ever low cost airline IPO. Robert Meyers and Cécile King of the Pillsbury Winthrop Sydney office worked on the transaction.

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