Freehills has advised the Queensland State Government on the $603 million sale of Forestry Plantations Queensland to Hancock Queensland Plantations, advised by Mallesons.
The sale represents the first asset parcel to be sold in the State's privatisation program.
Freehills partners Peter G Butler, Matthew FitzGerald and Michael Back led the team which advised on all aspects of the sale, including preparation of the scoping study, development of the legislative scheme establishing regulatory and policy framework for the plantation industry, and the multi-stage tender process.
"The State had a number of very specific objectives for the sale, including securing employee jobs and entitlements, achieving a balanced legislative framework for the industry post sale, protecting public access rights and establishing a framework for the achievement of the State's hardwood commitments," said Butler.
"Designing a sale structure which accommodated all of these factors and which remained attractive to private sector investment raised many unique challenges for our team. The outcome achieved for our client not only met all of the State's objectives but the sale was executed within a record timeframe for a transaction of this magnitude and at a sale price above the State's expectations.'
Other practitioners involved in the deal included partners Steve Smith (employment and industrial relations), Luke Simpson (property), Rob Nicholson (corporate), Erin Wakelin (finance), Mark Darwin (insurance) and Jane Hodder (projects); special counsels Ian Reid, Jeremy Prentice, Mary Boittier and Chloe Piper; senior associates Natalie Bryce, Marie Botsis, Leone Costigan, Kylie Rohl, Michelle O'Connell, Lauren Kirkwood, Kirsty Faichen and Adeline Hiew; and Melanie Ryan (information logistics).