HSF, MinterEllison lead as Australian packaging giant acquires US rival

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Two top-tier firms are leading in Australia as ASX-listed Amcor has agreed to combine with US-based rival Bemis.

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) is working with Kirkland & Ellis in the US as legal counsel to Melbourne-based Amcor. MinterEllison, along with Faegre Baker Daniels and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, is the legal counsel to Bemis.

HSF confirmed to Australasian Lawyer that its lead partner on the deal is Rodd Levy in Melbourne, supported by Melbourne partner Simon Haddy, London partner Mark Bardell, Melbourne senior associate Sam Kings, and solicitor Simon Walker.

MinterEllison’s team is led by M&A partner Michael Gajic, with assistance from M&A senior legal counsel Leigh Brown, tax partner James Momsen, and M&A senior associate Jeremy Chew.

For Kirkland & Ellis, corporate partners Eric Schiele, Jonathan Davis and Carlo Zenkner, along with partner David Fox and associate David Perechocky, lead the team. Tax partner Jared Rusman, executive compensation partner Scott Price, and capital markets partner Richard Aftanas also provide expert advice.

The all-stock deal, valued by the companies at US$6.8bn, will see Bemis shareholders receive the equivalent of US$57.75 a share in Amcor stock, representing a 25% premium to the Bemis closing price before the news of an impending merger broke.

Amcor shareholders will own 71% of the combined entity, with Bemis shareholders owning the rest. The deal, subject to regulatory and customary approvals, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.

Amcor is expected to establish a primary listing on the New York Stock Exchange, with a market capitalisation of about US$17bn. It will maintain its listing on the ASX and expects index inclusion on both bourses.


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