DLA Piper confirms role in Pengana-Hunter Hall merger

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DLA Piper has confirmed its role in the proposed merger between Hunter Hall International and Pengana Holdings, which will create a combined funds manager with more than $3bn under management.

The global firm advised existing clients Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company (WHSP) and Pengana on three transactions which will see WHSP emerge as a major shareholder in the merged firm. WHSP, which already owns about half of Pengana, will own about 32% of the new company. Hunter Hall initially attracted bids from WHSP and Pinnacle Investment Management.

DLA Piper previously advised WHSP on its acquisition of a 49.49% stake in Pengana from NAB. The firm is currently advising WHSP on its off-market takeover bid for Hunter Hall, through WHSP Hunter Hall – a wholly-owned subsidiary of WHSP. The all-cash offer to Hunter Hall shareholders opened on 20 January.

DLA Piper said Pengana’s substantial funds under management in Australian equities complements Hunter Hall’s globally invested funds.

The DLA Piper team was led by corporate partner David Ryan, with James Philips, Elliott Cheung, Horace Wu and Rube Uthayakumar. The firm’s funds, tax, employment, debt and regulatory teams were closely involved.

Washington H. Soul Pattinson is Australia’s second-oldest publicly listed company, having listed on the Sydney Stock Exchange (now ASX) in January 1903. It has an extensive portfolio across a range of industries, with at a pre-tax net asset value of $4.9bn as at the end of July 2016.

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