Major firm acts on $640m deal

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A major firm has acted on the purchase of Nine Live by a Hong Kong based private equity company.

King & Wood Mallesons has advised Hong Kong-based private equity firm Affinity Equity on the purchase of Nine Live, owner of Ticketek, from Nine Entertainment. 

The team was led by partner Mark McNamara who said that the deal is a significant one, given the company’s prominence in the Australian entertainment industry.

“Nine Live has a long history in Australia, having established its live events ticketing business over 35 years ago. It now occupies a unique position in the Australian live entertainment landscape,” he said.

King & Wood Mallesons also advised Affinity Equity on its 2014 acquisition of a 35 per cent stake in Virgin’s Velocity program, for $335m.

The deal saw a rise in Nine Entertainment shares yesterday, with the company’s chief executive commenting that the deal will release significant capital that will go towards shareholder returns.

The AFR reported yesterday that the deal, which puts Nine in a net-cash position after it had been in a net debt of $490.5m in December last year, brings Affinity’s recent deal total to $3bn.

Buddle Findlay reported advised on the New Zealand law aspects of the deal.