Michael's practice focuses on share and business acquisitions and disposals, company takeovers, public offers of securities, managed funds, private equity, joint ventures and general contract negotiation. Michael also provides general corporate/commercial advice to a range of clients including listed companies, investment banks, fund managers, retailers, manufacturers, and high net worth individuals. Michael has extensive experience in relation to New Zealand Stock Exchange and listed public company work and has been involved in a number of public company takeovers acting for both bidder and target. He is highly regarded for his ability to work closely with his clients to secure successful deal outcomes.
Michael has substantial experience in advising on all aspects of the structuring of commercial arrangements, including advising with respect to joint ventures, limited partnerships, management and marketing structures, distribution and associated finance arrangements.
Michael has advised numerous boards on governance issues and was formerly a director and chairman of NZ Law Limited. NZ Law is an association of independent legal practices with 59 New Zealand member firms. Michael is also a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, the New Zealand Private Equity & Venture Capital Association Inc. and the Institute of Financial Professionals New Zealand Inc..
Michael’s transaction experience includes the following:
- Acting for Netlogix on the establishment of Nexus Logistics Limited - a joint venture with Ports of Auckland Limited that will provide independent container logistic services throughout New Zealand, targeting the import/export sector.
- Acting for Rex Group Limited on the sale of Simcro Limited (a developer and distributer of animal health delivery systems) to an investment vehicle controlled by The Riverside Company, a private equity company with its head office in Ohio.
- Acting for the sole director of Hirequip Limited, Power Hire Limited, Projex Equipment Sales Limited and Ready Hire Limited in relation to the sale and purchase of the business and assets of those companies to an entity controlled by New Zealand Rental Group Limited (which owns Hirepool Limited).
- Acting for United Vehicle Rentals Limited on the $69 million merger of the campervan rental businesses of United, Tourism Holdings Limited and Kea Campers (New Zealand) Limited.
- Acting for International Nutritionals Limited (a joint venture between Wilmar Gavilon Pty Limited and Fonterra subsidiary RD1 Limited) on its establishment of a joint venture vehicle that has acquired the molasses importation and distribution business of Agri-feeds Limited.
- Acting for JD Sports Fashion plc. on its acquisition of the global rights to the heritage rugby brand 'Canterbury' and 'Canterbury of New Zealand'. Michael also acted for JD Sports in relation to its acquisition of the New Zealand and Australian operations of Canterbury of New Zealand Limited and Canterbury International (Australia) Pty Limited and the subsequent divestment of those operations to its majority shareholder, Pentland Group plc..
- Advising members of the pipfruit industry in relation to BayWa Aktiengesellschaft’s takeover offer for Turners & Growers Limited.
- Acting for Oggi Advertising Limited in relation to the sale of its outdoor billboard business to APN Outdoor Limited.
- Advising CTG Wilmar Pty Limited in relation to the establishment of an incorporated joint venture, with RD1 Limited (a Fonterra subsidiary), to import and sell to the New Zealand dairy industry the animal feed supplement Palm Kernel Expeller.
- Acting for clients in the restaurant and hospitality sector on all aspects of their business operations, including the iconic Café Melba chain of cafés and the acclaimed Plume Restaurant and Plume Café, Matakana.
- Advising clients in the wine industry on various commercial aspects of their businesses, including Runner Duck Estate Limited and Pasquale Kurow Winery.
- Acting for Brook Asset Management Limited in relation to its offering of retail and wholesale unit trust funds in New Zealand and in relation to the Brook Professional KiwiSaver Scheme that it manages.
- Acting for Elliott Advisors (HK) Limited, an international investment firm that acquired a significant interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited, in connection with its proposals for a structural separation of Telecom as an alternative to operational separation.
- Acting for NZX listed Salvus Strategic Investments Limited and advising it on diverse acquisitions and disposals within its portfolio. Acting for Salvus Asset Management Limited in relation to its management of various capital raisings by way of institutional share placements, offers to eligible persons, and rights issues.
- Acting for the various vendor shareholders in relation to their $52.5 million sale of the Northplan group of companies, one of New Zealand’s largest financial advisory businesses, to Australian listed MFS Limited.
- Acting for a consortium of investors in acquiring SimcroLimited, a company specialising in the manufacture and worldwide distribution of animal health delivery systems
- Acting for Neuren Pharmaceuticals Limited in relation to its offering of shares to existing investors pursuant to a share purchase plan and obtaining the necessary exemptions from the Securities Commission to enable that offering to proceed without the need for an investment statement or prospectus. Advising Neuren in relation to various other capital raisings via institutional placements and share issues.
- Advising senior management in relation to their participation as shareholders in Noel Leeming Holdings Limited following the acquisition of the Noel Leeming business by various entities associated with Gresham Private Equity Limited.
- Acting for Hancock Natural Resource Group in advising on, and negotiating, various wood supply arrangements in connection with Hancock’s acquisition of forest estates and forestry rights from Kiwi Forests Group Limited, Tenon Industries Limited and Tenon Manufacturing Limited.
- Advising Goldman Sachs & Co, New York, in relation to the buyback by Viking Pacific Holdings Limited of shares in itself, the compulsory acquisition of shares in Viking Pacific by funds managed and/or administered by Goldman Sachs, and the subsequent sale of shares in Viking Pacific by Goldman Sachs.
- Advising Guinness Peat Group plc. on its NZ$66.96 million partial takeover bid for Rubicon Limited.
- Advising Aquila Inc. in relation to the divestment (pursuant to a public takeover) of its NZ$1.05 billion shareholding in UnitedNetworks Limited.
- Advising Carter Holt Harvey Limited in relation to the establishment of its joint venture with Northland Port Corporation Limited and Port of Tauranga Limited to operate a new port at Marsden Point near Whangarei, including the implementation of various arrangements regarding the export of forest product through that port.
- Advising Carter Holt Harvey Lodestar (Carter Holt Harvey’s transport and export logistics division) in relation to its business operations, including, in relation to agreements for the provision of log management and export services and in relation to certain joint venture and export arrangements.
- Advising Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated in relation to the underwrite of Verizon Communication Inc.’s selldown of its NZ$1.6 billion cornerstone shareholding in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited.