Nick specialises in corporate and commercial transactions, with a particular emphasis on acquisitions and disposals of businesses and companies. His expertise includes joint ventures, commercial contracts, governance, corporate law, due diligence and foreign investment. Nick was selected as the Corporate Livewire Australian M&A Lawyer of the Year in 2017.
Nick has represented Australian (private and government), European, Asian and United States clients operating in various industry sectors, including clients in the manufacturing, distribution, electricity and agribusiness sectors.
He is highly regarded for his negotiation skills and pragmatic approach.
Nick has a particular focus on working with private business owners and for over 20 years has assisted clients achieve the best value upon the sale of their business. His specialised knowledge and experience with private businesses, joint ventures, governance and succession planning helps these clients prepare to secure their best exit.
Nick also undertakes governance and commercial work for a range of not-for-profit organisations.
Some of the matters he has worked on include:
Cabrini Health: Acted for Cabrini on the divestment of its laundry services business to Spotless, and in negotiating a long term linen services agreement to apply post sale between Spotless and Cabrini.
VEC Civil Engineering: Acted for the private owners of this civil contracting business on their sale to Downer EDI Limited. Our work for this long-standing client included advice over several years to assist in preparing the business so that proceeds were maximized on exit.
Hotel Reservation Service Robert Ragge GmbH: Acted on its strategic investment in The Lido Group Pty Ltd, an Australian-based corporate and government accommodation aggregator and integrated payment solutions provider. Our role included undertaking due diligence, documentation of the staged investment over several years, negotiation and transaction completion.
Redstar Transport:Acted on its merger with Zagami Transport.
L.H. Perry & Sons: Advised the half owner of this large South Australian petroleum retail and distribution business on his successful exit. This was achieved through the exercise of the other shareholder’s pre-emptive rights but precipitated by our client entering into an option agreement with an external party and that option being exercised.
Hydro Tasmania: Advised on a range of merger & acquisition, commercial and strategic matters, including:
- The establishment of the Roaring 40s Renewable Energy joint venture with China Light & Power, under which CLP contributed A$120 million for a 50% interest in Hydro Tasmania’s existing and planned renewable projects
- The subsequent sale of Roaring 40s’ Chinese and Indian wind farm assets to CLP for approximately A$170 million
- The acquisition of Momentum Energy Pty Ltd, a Victoria/South Australia electricity retailer in a two-stage transaction with a large proportion of consideration structured as an earn out
- Other strategic and commercial advice including regarding Basslink, the undersea electricity cable between Victoria and Tasmania.
Wonderest/Sleepyhead: Advised this NZ privately owned group on its acquisition of the “Sleepmaker” and “Dunlop Foams” businesses. Total sale consideration was approximately $55 million.
Distressed Sales: acted on the divestment aspects of a range of administrations/receiverships including Range River Gold, GMC, Automotive Components, MelbaTex, Ajax Fasteners and Coo’ee on St Kilda. Nick also acted on the divestment by Nylex Limited of 20 businesses / companies over several years for proceeds of approximately $260 million (excluding property).
Private exits: For more than 20 years, Nick has acted in wide range of exit transactions for private owners. Examples include acting for the sellers of The National Confectionery Company (sold to Cadbury Schweppes) and the sellers of Ballarat Vibrated Concrete Industries (sold to Milnes Holdings Limited).
Ajax Fasteners: Acted for the administrators of this car components business on an “underwrite” agreement with its major car company customers, to secure ongoing supply to those customers.
Laminex Group: Acted on several acquisitions, joint ventures and supply arrangements for critical inputs.
Wesley Mission Victoria: Advised on its merger with 25 separate Uniting Church community agencies and services, including providing advice and documentation in the areas of corporate governance, tax and due diligence.