find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Freehills advises Elders Ltd on 'near death experience'

Freehills advises Elders Ltd on 'near death experience'

Freehills has advised Elders Limited (Elders) on its recent "near death experience", a combination of debt refinancing, equity raising and asset sale transactions.The Adelaide -based company…

Freehills has advised Elders Limited (Elders) on its recent "near death experience", a combination of debt refinancing, equity raising and asset sale transactions.

The Adelaide -based company said on 4 September it would raise as much as $550 million ($US463 million) to pay debt and strengthen its balance sheet after posting a full-year loss of $415.4 million.

"A couple of times during the week we thought we were having what can best be described as a 'near-death experience'," Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Jackman told ABC television.

"At the end of the day, the company, the banks, everybody, gave a little bit and we were able to find the right compromise and the right mix to get the equity raising away."

Jackman took the top job a year ago and changed the company's name from Futuris Corp. to Elders, signalling a new focus on the rural services unit of the business.

Elders has been in a process of rapid change to return the group to its core business of agricultural services under the Elders brand. The group has been working to refinance its debt facilities and US private placement notes and repair its balance sheet via asset sales and capital raising.

Freehills partner Al Donald commented: "The Freehills team has brought M&A, ECM, banking and finance and restructuring expertise to bear in order to support Elders through this process. Taken together, the transactions highlight the combination of skills and commitment required to manage a turnaround and de-leveraging in a complex corporate group."

The Freehills team advising Elders included a cast of thousands from across the corporate, banking and ECM divisions. Corporate partners Al Donald and Kristin Stammer, senior associate Rob Bileckij and executive counsel Melanie Bouton advised on the sale of Elders' general insurance business to QBE and establishment of a new joint venture for the ongoing distribution of general insurance products (including the sold business) via the Elders rural network. Corporate partner Damien Hazard advised on the sale of ITC Timber to Gunns Limited.

Banking partner Hayley Neilson advised on the negotiations with Elders' bank lenders and US private placement noteholders for a restructured debt package consisting of permanent term debt facilities and notes (with maturities of three years and over), asset sale bridges, equity bridges and a revolving credit facility and transactional banking facilities for working capital needs.

Corporate partners Philippa Stone and Rebecca Maslen-Stannage and senior associate Daniel Scotti advised on the ECM components, including an institutional placement and a novel share purchase plan.

Mallesons advised the joint lead managers Goldman Sachs JBWere and RBS on the equity raising component. Lead lawyers were Partner Jason Watts, Senior Associate Rachael Bassil and Solicitor Mark Bryant.

The proceeds of the equity raising will be used to repay Elders' debt and strengthen its balance sheet.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Freehills advises Elders Ltd on 'near death experience'
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Dec 18 2017
Summer in the city
Across Australia, a number of law students have kicked off their commercial law aspirations with the...
microscope
Dec 18 2017
‘Exorbitant legal fees’ under government microscope
With the growing number of class action proceedings in Australia, the government is looking at how ...
Funds, money, cash
Dec 18 2017
Law Access WA receives welcome funding
Law Access Western Australia has received a grant from the state government to fund its pro bono leg...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...