New Zealand M&A falls away in 2007 - 2008 more encouraging

Despite a fall-off in New Zealand merger and acquisition activity in 2007, Chapman Tripp partner, John Strowger says this year looks more encouraging.

According to Thomson Financial, announced New Zealand mergers and acquisitions dropped by 23.4% to US$11.4 billion in 2007. A number of the announced deals failed to complete, notably listed company takeovers for Auckland International Airport, Tourism Holdings and Abano Healthcare.

John Strowger, who was named New Zealand Dealmaker of the Year by Australasian Legal Business in both of the last two years, says that the firm had another busy year of M&A and 2008 looks encouraging:

“Although the frenetic pace of mergers and acquisitions dropped off near the end of the year, as the credit crunch started to bite locally, we can already see a strong deal flow for 2008.”

“We expect private equity funds to again be prominent in 2008, as many of New Zealand’s largest companies remain attractive targets,” Strowger said.

Chapman Tripp advised on more than 89 publicly announced M&A deals in 2007, valued in excess of NZ$27 billion. The firm advised:

  • Coles Group on New Zealand aspects of the AU$20 billion Wesfarmers scheme of arrangement – the largest Australasian M&A deal completed in 2007 
  • Two of the four short listed bidders on the Yellow Pages group sale – the largest New Zealand M&A deal in 2007 
  • Fisher Funds on the Marlin Global initial public offer – the largest IPO cash raising in New Zealand in 2007 
  • Receivers for finance companies Bridgecorp, Property Finance, and Capital & Merchant, and the administrators of Icon Digital (Sounds, and certain Blockbuster and Games Plus stores) in New Zealand’s first voluntary administration.

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