Follow us

Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Sydney Aviation Alliance (SAA) — the Australian-led consortium comprising IFM Australian Infrastructure Fund, AustralianSuper, Australian Retirement Trust, IFM Global Infrastructure Fund and Global Infrastructure Partners — on its A$32 billion (EV) acquisition of Sydney Airport.

The deal, which is the largest takeover and the largest infrastructure deal in Australian history, completed today.

Sydney Airport is a nationally important asset. It serves as an important international and domestic gateway, handling over 44 million passengers in 2019.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by M&A partners Tony Damian and Andrew Rich, and included partners Robert Bileckij, Stephen Dobbs, Erin Wakelin, Jon Evans, Patrick Gay, Matthew Fitzgerald, Adam Charles and Luke Hastings, senior adviser Robert Nicholson, consultant James Graham, executive counsel Adam Parkin, senior associates Joshua Santilli, Caitlin Walker, Lucinda Grant, Rebecca Cook and James Emmerig, and lawyers Raul Vellani, Benedict Cheung and Luxmy Chandran.

Tony Damian said, “We are incredibly proud of this milestone and the work of the Sydney Aviation Alliance and Herbert Smith Freehills teams in completing one of the most significant and complex Australian M&A deals. Sydney Airport is a world-class infrastructure asset that plays an integral role in connecting Sydney, and Australia, with the world.”

Andrew Rich said, “The M&A boom in Australia continues. This deal showcases the increasing importance of superannuation funds in public company M&A as well as the increasing prevalence of consortium bids.”

This deal is another example of Herbert Smith Freehills’ market-leading work in Australian M&A. Other recent examples include:

  • Santos in its A$22 billion merger with Oil Search
  • Coca-Cola Amatil on its A$11.1 billion acquisition by scheme by Coca-Cola European Partners
  • Brookfield on its A$10 billion acquisition of AusNet Services by way of scheme
  • Crown Resorts on its proposed A$9.3 billion acquisition by Blackstone by way of scheme
  • Boral in its response to the A$8.5 billion takeover offer from SGH
  • Spark Infrastructure on its A$5.2 billion acquisition by a KKR-led consortium by way of scheme

In the 2021 Refinitiv M&A league tables, Herbert Smith Freehills ranked first in each of Australia, the Asia Pacific and the United Kingdom for announced M&A deals by value.

Key contacts

Tony Damian photo

Tony Damian

Partner, Sydney

Tony Damian
Andrew Rich photo

Andrew Rich

Partner, Global Co-Head of Consumer Sector, Sydney

Andrew Rich

Media contact

For further information on this article please contact

Emily Coultas

Emily Coultas, External Communications Manager