About Charles Ashton
Charles is an experienced M&A professional who has advised on many of Australia's most significant M&A deals across a broad range of sectors. He has extensive experience advising listed companies, infrastructure investors and other private equity and financial sponsors on large-scale public and private M&A, competitive sale processes, foreign investment regulation, listing rules and corporate governance.
Charles has particular expertise in public market transactions advising on takeover bids, schemes of arrangement, takeover defences, Takeovers Panel proceedings and activist situations. He also regularly advises on the structuring and execution of pre-bid acquisitions and other structured derivative trades. He previously worked at Linklaters in London.
Charles' public M&A experience includes advising:
- KKR Infrastructure, OTPP and PSP Investments – $5.2 billion proposed acquisition of Spark Infrastructure by way of inter-conditional creditor and trust schemes.
- Rhipe Limited – $400 million proposed acquisition by Crayon Holdings by way of scheme of arrangement.
- Crown Resorts – on its response to the A$9 billion takeover proposal from Blackstone, the merger proposal from The Star and the US$3 billion funding proposal from Oaktree Capital.
- Samuel Terry Asset Management – on-market takeover bid for Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers.
- SS&C Technologies – $3 billion proposal to acquire Link Group Limited by way of scheme of arrangement.
- Zenith Energy – $250 million acquisition by Pacific Equity Partners, OPTrust and Infrastructure Capital Group by way of scheme of arrangement.
- Earlypay Limited – responding to proposed merger with Consolidated Operations Group Limited and takeover by Scottish Pacific Group Limited.
- National Storage REIT – responding to $1.7-1.9 billion competing takeover proposals from Gaw Capital Partners, Warburg Pincus and Public Storage.
- Advanced Personnel Management – advised Quadrant Private Equity-backed APM in relation to its acquisition of Konekt Limited by way of scheme of arrangement.
- QIC Private Capital – $535 million acquisition of Pacific Energy Limited by way of scheme of arrangement.
- Wynn Resorts – $10 billion proposal to acquire Crown Resorts Limited by way of scheme of arrangement.
- Qube Holdings – off-market cash and scrip takeover of logistics operator Chalmers Limited.
- Unibail-Rodamco – $32.7 billion acquisition of Westfield Corporation by way of inter-conditional company and trust schemes, the listing of the new Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield stapled group on the ASX, Euronext Paris and Euronext Amsterdam and associated demerger and listing of One Market Limited on the ASX.
- DUET Group – $7.4 billion acquisition by a consortium led by Cheung Kong Infrastructure of 100% of DUET's stapled securities by way of inter-conditional company and trust schemes.
- Ferrovial – $813 million successful hostile takeover bid for Broadspectrum Limited.
- Brookfield – $420 million take private of the Brookfield Prime Property Fund.
- Genting Hong Kong – investment in The Star Entertainment Group Limited.
- News Limited – $1.94 billion acquisition of Consolidated Media Holdings by scheme of arrangement.
- Conquest Mining (now Evolution Mining) – successful hostile takeover bid for North Queensland Metals Limited and acquisition of HSK Gold.
- AGL Limited – acquisition of Mosaic Oil NL by scheme of arrangement.
- FerrAus Limited – successful defence of a hostile takeover bid by Wah Nam International.
- Newcrest Mining – $9.5 billion merger with Lihir Gold.
- Queensland Treasury – initial public offering of QR National Limited.
Charles' private M&A experience includes:
- Global Infrastructure Partners – US$750 million investment into a newly established JV with Total GLNG Australia, in relation to Total's interest in the Gladstone LNG Project’s downstream infrastructure facilities.
- Global Infrastructure Partners – US$2.5 billion acquisition of Shell’s 26.25% interest in the QCLNG common facilities.
- BP International – establishment of $2.2 billion of real estate capital partnerships across Australia and New Zealand with Charter Hall-led consortia.
- BAE Systems – acquisition of ASC Shipbuilding from the Commonwealth of Australia to support the Commonwealth's $35 billion Hunter class frigate shipbuilding program for the Royal Australian Navy.
- Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield – in connection with several multi-billion dollar domestic and cross-border reorganisations following the merger of Unibail-Rodamco and Westfield.
- NSW Treasury – $9.3 billion sale of a 51 per cent interest in the WestConnex project to Transurban.
- First State Super – $360 million combined debt and equity investment in Oak Tree Group, being the super fund's first investment in the retirement village sector.
- NSW Treasury – $10.3 billion 99-year lease of TransGrid to the NSW Electricity Networks Consortium.
- NSW Treasury – sale of Pillar Administration to Mercer.
- Archer Capital – $938 million divestment of private hospital business Healthe Care to China's Luye Medical Group.
- Novartis – US$7.1 billion sale of its vaccines business to GSK, which formed part of a complex global asset swap involving the US$14.5 billion purchase of GSK’s oncology business and the contribution of its OTC business to a joint venture with GSK's healthcare business.
- Siemens – £985 million acquisition of Rolls-Royce's global aero-derivative gas turbine and compressor business.
- Alberta Investment Management Corporation, Allianz Capital Funds, Hastings Funds Management and EDF Invest – successful $3.2 billion consortium bid for Porterbrook Trains, a UK rolling stock leasing company.