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Herbert Smith Freehills has continued its run as the preeminent legal advisor for M&A transactions in Australia, topping both the Thomson Reuters and Mergermarket M&A league tables for the volume of deals in Australia and New Zealand in H1 2018.

Herbert Smith Freehills ranked:

  • 1st by deal count and 1st by deal value in completed deals for Australia and New Zealand (Thomson Reuters)
  • 1st by deal count and 3rd by deal value in announced deals for Australia and New Zealand (Thomson Reuters)
  • 1st by deal count and 2nd by deal value for deals in Australasia (Mergermarket)

Partner Rebecca Maslen-Stannage said: “Confidence breeds confidence in the M&A market, and this year we’ve seen a number of major transactions announced and bold approaches to potential targets made. That has helped give other companies the confidence to make their strategic moves, and a sense that if they don’t, they might be beaten to the punch by rival acquirers.”

“The deal fundamentals remain strong with debt readily available and reasonably priced, while the market is enjoying a sense of sustainable growth and less volatility,” she said.

“H1 2018 has seen an unusual number of big, bold M&A transactions, including a number of deals in the pipeline which are yet to be announced.”

Partner Paul Branston said the results for H1 suggest a positive outlook for H2.

“We are seeing significant public and private M&A activity with companies and boards targeting growth and a healthy degree of competition,” he said.

“Private equity and significant interest from overseas acquirers – especially in China and the US – will be strong drivers for growth over the remainder of the year.”

“Healthcare and media were two well-performing sectors in H1, and in H2 we anticipate that healthcare, software/technology will be the sectors to watch out for and the increased levels of activity in metals and mining will continue.”

Herbert Smith Freehills acted for many of Australia’s largest and most complex deals in the first half of 2018, including advising:

  • CBA on the A$3.8 billion sale of its life insurance arm to AIA Insurance
  • JCDecaux on its $1.2 billion acquisition of 100% of the issued capital in APN Outdoor
  • AccorHotels on its $1.2 billion takeover of Mantra Group

About Herbert Smith Freehills

Operating from over 26 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. We provide many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including energy, natural resources, infrastructure, technology and financial services.

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