THE MELBOURNE offices of Allens Arthur Robinson bore witness to history in the early hours of last Saturday morning, 11 March, when what is thought to be Australia’s largest private equity deal was signed off between Coles Myer and Newbridge Capital.
Newbridge bought both the Myer business and its Bourke Street property in Melbourne for a better than expected $1.4 billion, giving Coles Myer a $700 million profit on the sale.
It was this strategy that placed it ahead of property developers Lend Lease Australian Prime Property Fund and CFS Gandel, on the bidding front.
Partners Lynne Jensen and Jon Webster led the Allens team that acted for Coles Myer, working closely with the company’s general counsel Richard Dammery. Freehills acted for Newbridge Capital, led by partner Baden Furphy.
The signing was the culmination of months of negotiations, but the process moved quickly once bids for the business closed, with more than 25 documents to be finalised and signed in a week.
The Allens team of approximately 30 lawyers was drawn from across the corporate and commercial, funds management and superannuation, alternative dispute resolution, banking and finance and tax practice areas.