$220m deal succeeds with expert advice from top firms

by Sol Dolor24 Apr 2019

Three top firms have worked to ensure the success of a complex deal for the long-term concession over Auckland car parks.

Macquarie Principal Finance Group has purchased the rights to operate SKYCITY’s car parks in Auckland for 30 years. The financial and infrastructure giant paid $220m for the concession.

Macquarie was advised by Mayne Wetherell, while Bell Gully acted for SKYCITY and MinterEllisonRuddWatts counselled global investment bank Goldman Sachs, which was the underwriter of the acquisition.

SKYCITY owns more than 3,000 car parks in the Auckland CBD, Bell Gully and MinterEllisonRuddWatts said. Both firms commented on how complex the deal was.

Ben Kay, SKYCITY general manager for corporate development and investor relations, praised the Bell Gully team for their work.

“It’s a bespoke, complex transaction with a range of legal, commercial, financial issues having to be carefully navigated pre-signing. Andrew Petersen, Toni Forrest and the wider Bell Gully team have worked tirelessly alongside SKYCITY’s internal legal team over many months and were instrumental in ensuring a great outcome for SKYCITY and its shareholders,” Kay said.

Petersen, who leads Bell Gully’s property and real estate team, said that the transaction was novel in the New Zealand legal market.

Steve Gallaugher, who jointly led the MinterEllisonRuddWatts team with fellow banking and finance partner Tom Fail, explained what made the transaction complex.

“This quasi-project finance deal created many unique challenges, particularly due to the nature of the assets and the negotiation of the concession,” Gallaugher said. “All parties were pleased with the outcome and we were delighted to assist Goldman Sachs on this significant transaction.”

The deal is expected to close by the end of July.