AWB’s purchase of the diversified rural services business Landmark, fr…

AWB’s purchase of the diversified rural services business Landmark, from Wesfarmers, is highly significant for AWB and for the Australian agricultural sector.

The AUD$825M acquisition positions AWB as the leading agribusiness in Australia and strengthens the competitive position of Australia’s agricultural produce in world markets.
Not only was the transaction negotiated within a tight two month timeframe, but it signed and completed last Friday.

Blake Dawson Waldron acted for AWB on the acquisition, providing a co-ordinated approach to a wide range of legal issues. The large BDW team worked closely together under the direction of lead partner, David Williamson, and AWB General Counsel, Jim Cooper. BDW’s role included:
• due diligence investigations, sale and purchase agreement negotiations, completion and integration planning (including HR issues, superannuation, property, branding and IT);
• negotiation of key supply agreements and other ancillary documentation, including for arrangements to enable Landmark’s deposit note activities to continue; and
• AWB’s $250m equity raising, and its debt finance.
Other key members of the Blake Dawson Waldron team included Gail Owen – acquisition; John Sartori – equity raising; Bruce Whittaker – debt arrangements; and Richard Bunting – employment law issues.
David Williamson said: “Completing this transaction within such a tight timetable involved a committed team effort by the AWB team, our own troops (across a series of practice groups and offices) and Macquarie Bank, as well as other advisers. Effective co-ordination of the different work streams was instrumental in ensuring that simultaneous signing and completion was achieved, on-time.”

Investment banking adviser to AWB was Macquarie Bank. Wesfarmers was represented by Freehills and Gresham.

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