Funds Management

M&A and investments

Mergers & acquisitions

In the aftermath of the GFC, there has been an increased level of M&A activity in the funds management and financial services sectors, driven by the internationalisation and consolidation of those industries.

The types of transactions we have been involved in over the past three years include:

  • the reallocation of funds through take-private transactions;
  • the acquisitions of funds management businesses;
  • management internalisations;
  • asset sales and divestments; and
  • fund mergers and restructures.

Global pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds and private equity funds have emerged as major players in these transactions, as acquirers of fund assets and management rights.


Australia has the world's fourth largest funds management industry, and is also attracting significant foreign investment. We advise local and offshore institutional investors on all aspects of their direct and indirect investments in all asset classes.

Services provided include legal and tax due diligence reviews of and negotiations with Australian and offshore private equity funds, real estate funds, infrastructure funds, hedge funds and equity and debt funds; legal and tax structuring (including consortium documents for direct investment opportunities); advising on the complex investment rules that apply under the superannuation regulatory regime; and advising on applicable licensing, disclosure and compliance requirements of the Australian financial services regime.

Recent experience

Our mergers & acquisition and investment experience includes:

MAp Airports
Acted for Map Airports on its A$1.6 billion asset swap with Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board in 2011 and on its earlier internalisation by way of an acquisition of management rights from Macquarie Group.

ING Industrial Fund
Acted for a consortium of global investors comprising Goodman Group, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), China Investment Corporation and Algemene Pensioen Groep (APG) on the acquisition of ING Industrial Fund (A$1.4 billion) by trust scheme.

DUET Group
Acted for DUET Group on its 2011 acquisitions of additional stakes in the Dampier to Bunbury natural gas pipeline and Multinet Gas from WestNet AET&D (A$198 million), and the disposal of its interest in WA Gas Networks to ATCO Ltd (A$155 million).

Franklin Templeton
Acted for Franklin Templeton on its acquisition of Balanced Equity Management Pty Ltd, a boutique investment management firm based in Melbourne.

Acted for CPPIB on its A$3.4 billion acquisition of Intoll Group (formerly Macquarie Infrastructure Group) by trust schemes and scheme of arrangement and on its A$2 billion acquisition of Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group by schemes of arrangement and trust scheme.

Westpac Office Trust
Acted for the responsible entity of Westpac Office Trust on the acquisition of that trust (A$413 million) by Mirvac Property Group by trust scheme.

Centro Properties Group
Acting for the senior lenders to Centro Properties Group (currently comprising a large number of US hedge funds) in the most recent phase of the debt restructuring and stabilisation arrangements, in particular the proposed aggregation (by stapling) of various Centro managed funds and various creditors' schemes of arrangement to give effect to the proposed debt-for-equity conversion.

Charter Hall Group
Acted for Charter Hall Group on its acquisition of the majority of Macquarie Group Limited's core real estate management platform, including the acquisition of management rights and investment stakes in the relevant funds.

Nikko Asset Management
Acted for Nikko Asset Management on its acquisition of Suncorp Metway's asset management arm, Tyndall Investments, for about $128.5 million.

Acted for GPT on its exit from the European and US components of its real estate joint venture with Babcock & Brown by distribution in specie and disposal respectively.