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The Dispatch: April 2022

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Welcome to the April 2022 edition of The Dispatch. With the first quarter of the calendar year behind us and as we move into the second, we have seen a strong focus on sales and ESG-related activities.

Commencing with public M&A, David Friedlander, Rob Kelly and Ned Sutton have been advising Pendal Group on Perpetual’s recently rebuffed proposal to acquire 100% of its shares by way of a Scheme of Arrangement for $2.4 billion.

Private capital has also been active in healthcare. Alex Elser assisted the shareholders of Australia’s largest integrated cancer care provider, Icon Group, with its sale to EQT Infrastructure for a purchase price of approximately $2.45 billion demonstrating the continued interest of financial sponsors in healthcare assets.

Assisting with the first significant REIT public M&A deal for the year, Daniel Natale and David Friedlander advised ASX-listed property group, Irongate Group on its scheme implementation agreement (SIA) with a partnership managed by Charter Hall. The SIA would see the partnership acquire 100% of the units Irongate Property Fund I and II by way of trust schemes of arrangement.

Staying in Real Estate, Quintin du Plessis, Will Stawell and Mark Bayliss assisted with the establishment of a $350 million residual stock warehouse facility for Goldman Sachs. The relatively bespoke securitisable funding program secured against receivables from the sale of residual stock (i.e. apartment lots that have been built but not yet sold) will allow the borrower, Wingate Group, to on-lend committed proceeds under the facility to real estate developers that hold the residual stock.

Supporting Suncorp with the divestment of its Australian Wealth Business to LGIAsuper, Rhys Casey and Sarah Yu advised Suncorp on the $55 million sale. The divestment enables Suncorp to focus on its core business of banking and insurance.

Assisting Scottish Pacific Group to enter the fintech space, Anthony Boogert supported their acquisition of fintech lender Business Fuel. The purchase will see ScotPac further expand their product range to better service smaller SMEs. 

Beyond the deals and building on the interest in KWM’s second annual report on climate-related disclosures of the ASX50, author Emma Newnham spoke to the AFR on what’s next in sustainability reporting.

Showing KWM’s expertise across the sustainability space, Jo Dodd recently joined an International Capital Market Association (ICMA) panel to discuss the growing Australian sustainable bond market, focusing on gender bonds as a tool for accomplishing social goals.

Elsewhere, Amanda Lees has explained why Robbie Williams’ $8m COVID loss claim against Melbourne’s F1 GP will be closely watched, and David Friedlander has paid tribute to outgoing ASX boss Max Cunningham.

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