New Zealand: Chapman Tripp leading NZ law firm by deal count
Last Updated: 10 July 2017

Chapman Tripp has acted on the most M&A deals in 2017 out of all New Zealand law firms, according to the latest league tables.

The firm has topped both Mergermarket and Bloomberg's M&A Legal Rankings for the first half of 2017.

"M&A deal momentum has continued from a robust 2016 both domestically and internationally, and we see this reflected in a busy corporate practice with a number of clients acquiring assets," says the head of Chapman Tripp's Corporate Group, Tim Tubman.

"Notable deals we've been involved in this year include advising Tower and its directors in relation to the $197m negotiated scheme arrangement with Fairfax Financial Holdings recently trumped by the competing $236m unsolicited proposal received from Vero New Zealand, and Downer EDI's acquisition of Hawkins construction from the McConnell family," Tubman said.

"We also acted for BlueScope Steel, which owns New Zealand Steel, on the sale of its Taharoa export ironsands business to Taharoa Mining Investments Ltd.

" As predicted, we have seen a sellers' market in 2017, in the context of an election year. Those holding good quality assets are able to have strong price expectations, due to an imbalance of cashed-up investors seeking acquisitions, and the number of assets on offer.

"There has also been private equity interest on both sides of the Tasman, as well as corporate activity, which we expect to continue in the second half of this year - though we do anticipate activity will slow-down as we start to approach the election in September."

The firm also won the top New Zealand accolade in the Australasian Law Awards for the third year in a row in May, NZ Deal Firm of the Year, while partner John Strowger was named NZ Dealmaker of the Year - his fourth time receiving the accolade.

In January this year, Chapman Tripp was the only New Zealand law firm to place in Mergermarket's top 15 rankings for M&A deal value and count in Australasia in 2016.

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