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Robert Nicholson

Senior Adviser

Robert’s practice focuses on corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets.

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Experience

Robert has over 30 years experience advising on a broad range of strategic corporate and commercial transactions across many industries including infrastructure, energy, resources and forestry.

He has executed public and private acquisitions, IPOs, secondary equity offerings, government enterprise restructurings and privatisations, energy market development and reform, power sales agreements, infrastructure development projects, corporate and managed fund restructures and debt for equity swaps.

Robert is listed as a leading corporate, capital markets, M&A and energy practitioner in international and local directories including:

  • Chambers Global Guide
  • Best Lawyers
  • PLC Which Lawyer?

Robert’s experience includes advising:

  • the Lonsdale Consortium comprising of funds managed by QIC, GIP, Borealis, including Future Fund, CIC, OMERS, CalPERS and NPS on their successful $9.7bn acquisition of the 50-year Port of Melbourne lease
  • Australian Super on its participation in the acquisition of AusGrid for A$16 billion
  • Energy Australia on its $1.8 billon disposal of its underground gas storage business
  • Jemena on its successful bid to construct the Northeast Gas Interconnector
  • Alinta Energy on its A$2.5 billion debt for equity swap
  • Asahi on its A$1.3 billion acquisition of Independent Liquor from private equity vendors
  • Australian Infrastructure Fund on the A$2 billion disposal of its airport portfolio to Future Fund and associated restructure required to facilitate the sale
  • TPG Capital and the vehicle which gave effect to Alinta Energy’s A$2.5 billion debt for equity swap 
  • TPG Capital on the acquisition of the Inghams chicken business
  • initial public offerings of SP AusNet, Transfield Services Infrastructure Fund, Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund, Toll Holdings, Sims Group and Straits Resources
  • on capital raisings for Orica, Coles Myer, Australian Infrastructure Fund, Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund, Hastings Yield Fund, Gunns, Pacific Hydro and other corporations, including hybrid issues for Hastings Diversified and Orica
  • on more than 30 public company takeovers and schemes of arrangement, including Singapore Power’s A$8 billion joint bid with Babcock & Brown for Alinta Energy
  • Transurban on its participation in the NorthConnex tollroad project
  • Singapore Power on its disposal of a 60% interest in Jemena, a major Australian energy infrastructure company, and 20% of the listed SP AusNet to State Grid Corporation of China
  • Elders on the restructure of its forestry division, including 16 managed funds, and its disposal through 6 separate transactions
  • San Miguel on its divestment of National Foods and Boag’s
  • Gunns’ on the takeover of Auspine and its purchases of North Forest Products from Rio and sawmilling assets from Elders and Forest Enterprises Australia
  • Alcoa and partners on the 22year 820 MW supply contract with Loy Yang Power for its Portland and Point Henry smelters, including the carbon trading arrangements
  • National Grid on the development of the Basslink undersea powertransmission project (the world’s longest undersea power cable) and its subsequent disposal to Citispring for A$1.2 billion
  • Hastings Funds Management on the acquisitions of interests in airports in Melbourne, Perth, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Athens and its acquisition and subsequent merger and disposal of Mid Kent Water and South East Water
  • on the restructuring of eight forestry funds managed by Great Southern group in which A$1.5 billion had been invested by retail investors, and the assumption of management by Gunns
  • State of Victoria on its restructure of its electricity assets, and development of a new regulatory and contractual framework and privatisation programme, which yielded A$22 billion
  • State of Victoria on its privatisation of gas and forestry assets and the State of Queensland’s forestry assets
  • State of Tasmania and Republic of Korea on their electricity industry restructure and reform programme

Background

Robert has a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Laws from Monash University, as well as a Master of Business Administration from the University of Melbourne where Robert was awarded the KPMG prize for business finance.

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