Firms advise on landmark $1.81b deal

by Hannah Norton07 Aug 2015
Two top tier firms have advised on the largest block trade ever in New Zealand.

Simpson Grierson advised underwriters Macquarie Capital on its purchase of Contact Energy shares from Australia’s Origin Energy for $1.81b.

Russell McVeagh acted for Origin Energy.

Origin informed Contact that it successfully completed the bookbuild process for the sale of its 53.1% shareholding, at a price of $4.65 per share, Contact announced on Wednesday.

The sell-down is one of the largest secondary markets transactions in New Zealand in the last decade, and one of the largest deals ever undertaken in the country.

The Simpson Grierson team consisted of Michael Pollard and Andrew Matthews, who were confronted with a number of technical firsts under the new Financial Markets Conduct Act.

"The trade was genuinely a landmark capital markets transaction,” Pollard said.

“It had a fair amount of complexity and it was extremely satisfying to be involved in it."

The lead lawyer for Russell McVeagh was Pip Greenwood.

Origin’s shareholding is tipped to be onsold to a range of Australian and New Zealand institutional investors, as well as local retail investors.

Contact’s board has also reviewed the company’s share register and yesterday announced that it had commenced the process of dual-listing on the Australian stock exchange, which is expected to be completed in over a month’s time.