Meredith Paynter


Sydney, Australia

Meredith Paynter advises a wide range of Australian and international clients on public and private M&A transactions, joint ventures and strategic investments, IPOs and capital raisings, and governance matters, and brings over 25 years’ experience to her practice.

While Meredith’s clients operate across a range of  sectors, Meredith has particular experience advising on matters involving the financial services and insurance, food & agribusiness, industrials, retail and health sectors. Meredith is the Sector Leader for the firm’s Food and Agribusiness practice, and was previously the Sector Leader for the firm’s Industrials, Consumer & Health practice.

Meredith’s practice is built on longstanding “trusted advisor” relationships with a range of clients.  She is described by clients as “our go-to person” and valued for her “technical prowess, coupled with her commercial and solution-oriented approach” and “her level-headed approach to obtain the best commercial outcome as opposed to “winning” the legal point”. Clients also say that she is “… an outstanding M&A lawyer.  We appreciate her technical expertise, strategic and integrated advice, commercial judgement and her desire to understand our business and our commercial objectives” and that she is “.. great to work with.  She provides practical legal advice in an articulate and easy-to-digest manner."

Meredith has been the lead author of KWM's Directions Report - a corporate governance report on current issues and challenges facing Australian directors and boards – for more than 10 years.

Meredith served 2 terms on the KWM Australia Board, and is a guest lecturer on Takeovers and Capital Markets Law at the University of New South Wales.  Meredith is also a member of the Corporations Committee of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia. 

Meredith's experience includes:

  • Westpac: on the sale of its general insurance business to Allianz, and the sale of its life insurance business to TAL Dai-ichi – each of which were described by Westpac as significant milestones in the strategy for “building a simpler, stronger bank”
  • Endeavour Group: on its $11 billion demerger from Woolworths and listing on ASX, and its acquisition of the Josef Chromy winery business
  • Woolworths Group: on its counter-bid for ASX-listed Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, and its exit from its Home Improvement business (including the sale of Home Timber & Hardware to Metcash, the inventory liquidation and closure of the Masters business, and the sale of Hydrox Holdings Pty Limited (the owner of freehold and leasehold property assets used in the Masters business) to the Home Consortium and the termination of its joint venture with Lowe's)
  • Lion Group: on a range of transactions since 1996, including the acquisition of independent brewer Fermentum; the sale of its Australian dairy and drinks business & specialty cheese business; the restructure of its Australian beer business via 23 inter-conditional schemes of arrangements; the sale of its Australian wine business; the sale of its everyday cheese business; its privatisation by Kirin by scheme of arrangement; its acquisition of Little World Beverages by scheme of arrangement; its takeover bids for Coca-Cola Amatil and Coopers Brewery Limited; its successful takeover bids for Petaluma Limited and Banksia Wines Limited; its acquisition of the Hua Xia brewery in China & sale of its China brewing assets, and its migration to Australia from New Zealand
  • Zurich: on a range of transactions since 2007, including its acquisition of ANZ's life insurance business, OnePath Life; the sale of its NSW CTP portfolio (in run-off) to the Enstar Group; and its acquisition of Cover-More Group Limited by scheme of arrangement. 
  • Harmoney: on its initial public offering and listing on ASX and NZX, and the issue of convertible securities
  • United Malt Group: on its demerger from GrainCorp and listing on ASX, and associated arrangements arising from its separation from GrainCorp
  • nib: on a range of transactions including the establishment of the Maestro joint venture, the acquisition of QBE's travel insurance business, acquisition of World Nomads Group, acquisition of IMAN International, and its IPO/listing on ASX. 

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