AS clients scramble to raise funds in an uncertain global economy, large firms in particular are being called upon to help.
Capital raisings work is booming for law firms as their clients demand a fast turnaround, and teams of lawyers to do the work as quickly as possible.
The pressure to get the deal done quickly requires a surplus of lawyers, which are virtually guaranteed when clients use larger law firms.
Large firms like Allens Arthur Robinson are finding an efficient means to cater to clients needs, by drawing lawyers that typically work in M&A into capital markets to work on these deals on a needs basis.
“Lawyers who would normally be doing M&A have been helping us out,” said Alex Ding, capital markets partner at Allens.
Allens and Mallesons Stephen Jaques have again shared the major deal of the moment, in iconic surf-wear label Billabong’s $290 million capital raising.
Retail investors are hoped to contribute up to $90 million, while the $200 million institutional component has been underwritten by Goldman Sachs JBWere, advised by Mallesons.
The deal is just the latest in a string of capital raising deals, which have been predominantly scooped up by Allens and Mallesons.
“This is one of many that have been coming to market in the past six months,” said Vijay Cugati, partner at Allens Arthur Robinson, which advised Billabong.
Allens recently advised The GPT Group (GPT), one of Australia’s largest diversified listed property groups, on a capital raising to raise a minimum of A$1.2 billion, as well as a host of other deals.
Mallesons, meanwhile, has seen a recent influx of work coming from Macquarie Group Limited and UBS AG, who have each been involved in some large and high profile capital raisings. The firm acted for Macquarie Capital Advisers Limited and UBS, the underwriters, on the recent Alumina Limited $1,022 million capital raising.
The capital raisings are done in a fast pace, and require access to the market in a timely manner, said Cugati.
The firms have been forced to conduct the deals quickly, and are usually required to work closely together to ensure the fast turnaround, he said.
In the case of Billabong, which is based in Queensland, the Allens lawyers had to turn the deal around via email and phone conversations. Meetings were virtually eliminated, thus decreasing lag time. But the deal required large teams of lawyers working over the weekend and long nights, Cugati said, a speciality of the larger firms.
“It was about speed, efficiency and ensuring everyone was available. Getting the deal done as quickly as possibly to make it palatable for markets as quickly as possible,” said Cugati.