Legal giants act on $4.13bn acquisition

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Two global firms have lent their legal expertise as a Japanese financial giant acquires the global asset management business of an Australian bank.

Baker McKenzie lawyers in Japan and Australia are advising Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB), which has agreed to buy Colonial First State Global Asset Management (CFSGAM) from Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has tapped its global offices including in London, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Paris, Madrid, and Singapore to advise Commonwealth Bank on the $4.13bn deal.

CFSGAM, which has $213bn in assets under management, operates in the European, Asia-Pacific, and North American regions.

Baker McKenzie’s lead M&A partners on the deal are Ben McLaughlin in Sydney and Tetsuo Tsujimoto in Tokyo. The firm’s lead regulatory partners are Toshio Shimada and Masato Honma in Tokyo.

The Baker McKenzie team in Sydney includes partners Bill Fuggle, Lawrence Mendes, and Antony Rumboll, as well as special counsel Melissa Carmody. Partners Byron Frost and Satoshi Abe are advising in Tokyo, while partner Rick Troiano is acting from Melbourne.

The HSF team is headed by partner Tony Damian. He was supported by Sydney Corporate team members senior associates Nicole Pedler, William Chew, and Li-Lian Yeo, as well as solicitor Timothy Coorey.

He was also supported by partner Robert Bileckij, with consultant Jim Graham and solicitor Curtis Vella from the Sydney funds team. From the Sydney employment team, partner Michael Gonski and senior associates Amanda Lyras and Rommo Pandit also provided expert advice.

HSF said that it is also advising Commonwealth Bank with the demerger of its wealth management and mortgage broking businesses, which was announced in June.