Australia: Norton Rose Fulbright advises on string of noteworthy technology and innovation deals
Last Updated: 5 April 2016

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has completed several prominent technology M&A and investment deals so far this year, cementing its role as a top advisor to the sector.

Since January 1, 2016 we have advised:

  • The Miner Group (Plant Miner) on an AU$3.5m fundraising (closed March 2);
  • Objective Corporation's acquisition of Onstream Systems (announced February 26);
  • Petstock on its acquisition of online New Zealand retail business pet.co.nz (completed January 29); and
  • Netbox Blue on its sale to Bloomberg (announced January 12).

This follows our advice last year to Appen Limited on its initial public offering, ranked as the best performing IPO of 2015 according to the Open for growth: Deloitte 2016 IPO report.

Plant Miner operates an online marketplace for sourcing hire equipment for mining and construction sites. The funds raised on March 2 will initially be used to consolidate and expand the Australian and New Zealand operations of the business before it grows overseas. The fundraising sets the business up to significantly increase in scale before a potential capital raising or IPO. Our partners on the deal were Marshall Bromwich (Brisbane) and Nick Abrahams (Sydney).

Objective Corporation, a specialist provider of content, collaboration and process management solutions, announced in February the purchase of 100 per cent of the shares in Onstream Systems. Onstream is a New Zealand-headquartered company that specialises in the capture, collaboration and manipulation of large documents, complex drawings, maps and plans. Its flagship software "Trapeze" is operated by more than 2 million users based in over 2000 global customers. Our partners on the deal were Iain Laughland and Nick Abrahams (Sydney).

Netbox Blue, a global provider of social media risk management and compliance solutions, was acquired by Bloomberg to enhance its enterprise compliance platform, "Bloomberg Vault". Netbox Blue's social media monitoring and governance technology will help Bloomberg Vault clients monitor and control platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Skype for Business. Our partners on this deal were Marshall Bromwich and Nick Abrahams.

Retail pet goods company Petstock acquired online retail business pet.co.nz in January. The acquisition is part of Petstock's broader strategy for penetrating the New Zealand market, following the acquisition of a number of bricks and mortar pet supplies stores last year. The deal was led by partner Marshall Bromwich.

Norton Rose Fulbright APAC head of technology and innovation, Nick Abrahams, commented:

"Our national corporate team has hit the ground running this year, and the completion of this series of technology deals will help set these diverse companies up for a vibrant future.

"Our decision in 2010 to name technology and innovation among our six global sectors of focus is as much about the support we can give early stage and emerging tech companies as the opportunity for our people to rub shoulders with some of the most innovative entrepreneurs in the market."

Mr Abrahams, who recently authored the book Digital Disruption in Australia, an analysis of 550 Australian M&A/investment deals, said: "Clients come to us because of our deep understanding of the tech M&A/investment deals that have been done in Australia. We ensure they get great legal advice delivered with market-aware commerciality."

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