Baker McKenzie helps fund billion-dollar deal

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Baker McKenzie has confirmed its role in making sure that a billion-dollar deal for an Australia brewer succeeds.

The global firm’s gaikokuhō joint enterprise in Japan advised Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) on the financing of Asahi Group’s acquisition of Carlton & United Breweries from Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Four powerhouse law firms earlier confirmed to Australasian Lawyer their roles in the $16bn acquisition. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, Baker McKenzie said.

Partners Gavin Raftery and Shinichiro Kitamura led the Baker McKenzie team. Senior associate Emiko Horikawa provided support. Raftery chairs the firm’s banking and finance group in the Asia-Pacific region, while Kitamura is the joint head of the firm’s banking and finance practice in Tokyo.

“We are honoured by the opportunity to support SMBC and Asahi on this landmark transaction in a fast-evolving market,” Kitamura said. “In the long run, we are committed to helping Japanese companies grow and become more competitive globally.”

Raftery said that the complex, multi-jurisdictional deal shows the strength and commerciality of the firm’s acquisition finance practice.