DLA Piper advises Accel-KKR and Seequent on $USD1 Billion of Seequent Group

Reuben Woods

DLA Piper has advised Accel-KKR and its portfolio company, Seequent Holdings Limited on the sale of Seequent Holdings Limited to Bentley Systems, Incorporated (Nasdaq: BSY) for ~NZD 1.46 billion (USD 1.05 billion). 

Seequent, head-quartered in Christchurch, is a global leader in software for geological and geophysical modeling, geotechnical stability, and cloud services for geodata management, visibility, and collaboration. Seequent’s global footprint includes a network of offices across Asia-Pacific, Africa, South America, North America and Europe. 

The acquisition was structured as a sale of 100% of the share capital of Seequent Holdings Limited for ~NZD 1.25 billion (USD 900 million) in cash and ~NZD 208 million (USD 150 million) in Class B stock in Bentley Systems, Inc.

Accel-KKR is a technology-focused investment firm with over USD 10 billion in committed capital across its buyout, growth capital and credit funds. Dean Jacobson, Managing Director of Accel-KKR says, “Reuben and the entire DLA Piper team have been invaluable partners throughout our investment in Seequent. DLA Piper’s global footprint, coupled with technically-excellent and commercially-astute advice, helped make this large, complex, multi-jurisdictional process go very smoothly. They have been great advisors and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

Shaun Maloney, CEO of Seequent comments, “And once again the DLA Piper team show us why we engage them globally as our legal counsel of choice. Maybe it is the kiwi culture and attitude, but the professionalism and approachability of Reuben Woods, our primary contact during this last transaction, was exemplary.”

The DLA Piper team was led by corporate M&A partner Reuben Woods (New Zealand) and his team, senior associate Sam Wilson and solicitor Alicia Williams. The team worked across multiple jurisdictions, including Australia, the USA, Canada and the UK. The wider team included New Zealand partners Rachel Taylor, David Johnston, Nick Valentine and Mark Williamson. David Ryan and Kelly Morrison in Australia led the ASX aspects of the process, and US partner Joey Silver led the US team, with assistance from Andrew Ledbetter and Drew Young.

Nigel Bingham, Managing Partner at Pencarrow says, “Reuben and the DLA Piper team did a fantastic job of managing all the legal elements of a complex and large dual track cross-border transaction on behalf of Seequent and its shareholders during the middle of Covid-19 often having to work from home during lockdowns and international hours. They worked tirelessly to help achieve a great outcome for all involved.”

Commenting on the transaction, DLA Piper partner Reuben Woods says, “This was a complex transaction requiring genuine and deep private equity, tech, securities law and tax expertise across multiple jurisdictions, combined with the need to problem-solve and to find commercial solutions at speed. We really appreciate and enjoy working with Accel-KKR, Pencarrow and Seequent; clients operating at the top of their respective sectors”.

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