$155.5m acquisition succeeds with Ashurst’s advice

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Ashurst advised an Australian financier, which has agreed to buy the country’s only established specialist corporate group health insurer.

The top firm is acting for nib Holdings in its agreement to buy all shares of Grand United (GU Health) Corporate Health from Australian Unity for $155.5m. The deal, which is subject to conditions, is expected to close in the final quarter of the year.

GU Health is Australia’s only established specialist corporate group health insurer. It has more than 34,000 policyholders from more than 260 corporate clients.

The deal involves equity capital markets transactions for funding. In addition to using a new debt facility, nib has completed a fully-underwritten $60m institutional placement and it also intends to offer a non-underwritten $15m share-purchase plan.

Ashurst advised nib on all aspects of the acquisition and the capital raising.

It team was led by partner Phil Breden from the firm’s corporate practice. The team also included partners Anton Harris (capital raising); Tim Brookes (technology, media, and telecoms); Peter McCullough and Barbara Phair (tax); Jennie Mansfield (employment); Anita Cade (intellectual property); Diane Skapinker (property); and Bill Reid (competition).

J.P. Morgan was nib’s financial adviser.

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