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Freehills and G+T act on Centro sell-off
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Freehills and G+T act on Centro sell-off

Freehills has announced it is advising the debt-laden Centro Properties Group on a series of proposed transactions before its former directors face court.Centro announced yesterday (1 March) the…

Freehills has announced it is advising the debt-laden Centro Properties Group on a series of proposed transactions before its former directors face court.

Centro announced yesterday (1 March) the $US9.4 billion ($9.3 billion) sale of its managed funds of US assets to a fund managed by private equity house Blackstone Group, advised by Gilbert + Tobin, as well as a restructure of Centro's headstock debt and a proposed amalgamation of various funds including the listed Centro Retail Group.

The Freehills team advising Centro is led by partners Rebecca Maslen-Stannage, Peter Stawell and Evelyn Halls, supported by lawyers Anna Cooper, Adam Booth, Adam Charles, Sarah Rogers and a team of specialists.

Freehills corporate partner Rebecca Maslen-Stannage said: "The proposed transactions required us to address a number of challenging legal issues, in light of Centro's complex structure and current circumstances. We worked closely with a number of key stakeholders including the Blackstone Group, Centro's headstock lenders, Centro Retail Group and others to deliver an outcome that provided the best possible solution for all stakeholders in the circumstances."

Moelis & Company and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as financial advisors to Centro on the sale of its US assets. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates acted as US legal advisors to Centro on the sale of its US assets. Moelis & Company and Lazard continue as restructuring advisors to Centro.

In an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) yesterday (1 March), Centro said that it had agreed with holders of approximately 73 per cent of its senior debt to progress a creditors scheme of arrangement.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) led action against eight former Centro directors is due to begin in the Federal Court in Melbourne on 4 April. ASIC alleges the directors breached their duties with regard to statements about the company's debt.

G+T corporate advisory partners Peter Cook and Adam Laura led the transaction and were assisted by senior lawyer Bob Ker.

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