Local firms advise on Wesfarmers divestment

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In yet more big deal activity involving companies with retail interests, two top-tier Australian firms have taken lead roles on a US insurance brokerage’s acquisition of various businesses of Wesfarmers Ltd.
Clayton Utz is representing the insurance brokerage, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., while Allens is advising Wesfarmers – best known for its supermarkets, department stores and other retail divisions.
Gallagher’s proposed $933 million acquisition of certain Wesfarmers businesses is part of plans to buy the corporation’s insurance brokerage businesses in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. It will also include the purchase of Wesfarmers’ premium funding operations in Australia and New Zealand.
The deal, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close by the third quarter.
The sale is part of Wesfarmers’ exit from the insurance business. The Perth-based company announced in December that it had agreed to sell its insurance underwriting business to Insurance Australia Group Ltd. for $1.7 billion.
Allens partner Tom Story is advising Wesfarmers. Dundas & Wilson is advising the seller on UK law. Russell McVeagh is advising on law matters in New Zealand.
Clayton Utz partners David Stammers and David Gerber led the team advising Gallagher. London-based firm Lawrence Graham is acting for the company on U.K. law, while Webb Henderson is serving as New Zealand counsel.

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