Which firms are involved in the heated battle for Asia Pacific Data Centres?

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Three top firms are acting in the complex and heated battle for control over Asia Pacific Data Centres (APDC), which is still in kind of a draw.

Ashurst, Clayton Utz, and Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) are advising in the bidding war for APDC. APDC is represented by Ashurst, while Clayton Utz is advising 360 Capital and HSF for NEXTDC.

The saga began seven months ago, when 360 Capital bought a 19.8% stake in APDC for $35.8m. NEXTDC, the sole tenant and 29.1% owner of APDC, tried to buy back the data centres company it spun off and listed in 2013.

NEXTDC made an unconditional, off-market takeover offer for APDC securities at $1.87 cash per stapled security, which lapsed on 15 September. The proposal amounted to $215m.

360 Capital made an unconditional, off-market takeover offer for APDC securities at $1.95 per stapled security, which lapsed on 20 November. The offer amounted to $224m.

NEXTDC has also tried to get the Takeovers Panel involved, a step the agency did not take.

As a result, 360 Capital has effectively won control over APDC, but not full ownership, which was its goal.

Leading the team for Ashurst is corporate partner Phil Breden. Also involved are tax partner Vivian Chan and real estate partner John Stawyskyj.

For Clayton Utz, corporate, M&A, and capital markets partner Matt Anderson, and lawyer Jared Webster, are involved.

HSF’s team is led by partner Philip Podzebenko, with support from senior associate Claire Thompson. Partner Melita Cottrell also assisted with financing aspects of the transaction.

APDC’s financial adviser is Fort Street Advisors. Cadence Advisory is financial advisor to NEXTDC. Morgans Corporate is the financial advisor of 360 Capital. EY is 360 Capital’s tax adviser. BDO is the independent expert on the matter.


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