by Mark Abernethy
Well-run companies and strong balance sheets has seen Bell Gully cement its role as the top M&A firm in New Zealand and the only Kiwi firm to break into the Australasian Top Ten rankings.
The three main law firm rankers – Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and Mergermarket – placed Bell Gully Number 1 in New Zealand activity based on deals announced in the first half of 2016. Each credited the firm with involvement in transactions valued at over US$3.6 billion (NZ$5 billion).
Bell Gully was also the highest-ranked New Zealand law firm in Australasia. Bloomberg ranked Bell Gully in seventh place by Australian and New Zealand deals announced, Mergermarket ranked the firm in eighth place and Thomson Reuters placed Bell Gully tenth.
Bell Gully’s ranking was built on deals such as advising Nuplex Industries on a proposal from Allnex Belgium; advising Fletcher Building on its acquisition of Higgins construction company; advising Fastway on its sale to Dubai-based logistics firm Aramex; and advising Macpac shareholders on the sale of the company to Australian private equity fund CHAMP Ventures.
“It has been an active year for us, with a number of longstanding clients, and new clients, engaging Bell Gully to assist them with mergers and acquisitions,” said Bell Gully Chair, Chris Gordon.
In a strong start to the second half of the year, Bell Gully is also advising Vodafone Group plc and Vodafone New Zealand on the NZ$3.4 billion merger of Vodafone NZ with NZX, and ASX-listed Sky Network Television Limited, announced in June.
Despite disruptions to global markets, Gordon anticipated activity would remain robust in the second half of 2016. “We are seeing well-run companies with strong balance sheets and a desire to grow through acquisition,” he said.
Globally, mergers and acquisitions activity was down in the first half of the year, with Mergermarket partly attributing that to uncertainty caused by the UK’s referendum on European Union membership and the US elections.