Graeme is a lead partner in our specialist Corporate / M&A team. Graeme is ranked by the leading legal guides and has won prestigious awards (including ALB Dealmaker of the Year (he is a finalist again in 2022) and ILO Client Choice. Transactions he has led have won New Zealand Deal of the Year and Equity Deal of the Year.
Read Graeme's bio
Graeme joined Webb Henderson in 2017 following more than 20 years as a senior partner in another leading New Zealand firm. Over the past few years our Corporate/M&A team has grown from strength to strength, receiving widespread market recognition and awards including Boutique Law Firm of the Year at the 2021 NZ Law Awards. Graeme is widely recognised for his astute legal and business judgement. He is seen as a trusted advisor who successfully assists clients with market leading transactions and projects.
See recent experience
Graeme’s recent projects as lead legal advisor have included the following:
- Fonterra Co-operative Group on its Capital Structure Project. Since its commencement in April 2020, Graeme has led a team of advisers to Fonterra on this high profile and nationally significant project. The resulting structure was strongly endorsed by Fonterra shareholders in December 2021, with a 85% majority shareholder vote. Graeme continues to assist Fonterra with implementation work on this project.
- Indevin Group on its acquisition of Villa Maria Estates. This complex acquisition (from receivers appointed in respect of Villa Maria’s parent company) was successfully completed in a tight timeframe in September 2021. The team then assisted Indevin with the acquisition of a 75% interest in Thornhill Horticultural Contracting.
- Macquarie Asset Management on its $200 million cornerstone investment in Winton Land as part of Winton’s $1.15 billion IPO and listing in December 2021.
- Tomlinson Group on the sale of Argenta Limited to US private equity firm KKR.
- Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation on Fidelity Life Assurance’s acquisition of Westpac Life (NZD$400m) and associated equity funding arrangements. (NZ Super co-funded the acquisition with Ngai Tahu Holdings and other investors).
- Mercury Capital (and co-investors) on the acquisition of Recreational Services Limited, one of New Zealand’s largest parks, grounds and facility maintenance businesses.
- A multinational PE client on its attempted acquisition of Education Perfect, an online learning business headquartered in NZ with global operations (ultimately sold to KKR for >$400m.
- A major shareholder in relation to the disposal of Allpress International to Asahi Beverages.
- Genesis Energy on its strategic review of its 46% interest in the Kupe Oil and Gas Field.
- Quadrant Private Equity and Five V Capital on the New Zealand aspects of their disposal of Probe CX to KKR.
- Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation in relation to their joint venture with CDPQ to bid for the Auckland passenger light rail project.
- Fonterra Co-operative Group on the unwind of its investment in, and relationship with, PRC-listed Beingmate Baby & Child Food Co.
- Complex (and successful) capital raising projects for a NZ headquartered, ASX listed, technology company.
- A major financial institution on a proposed (and subsequently implemented) corporate governance review in the wake of the APRA review and the Hayne Commission.
A selection of older matters that Graeme handled (prior to joining Webb Henderson) includes:
- Macquarie Group on multiple acquisitions and subsequent divestments in the aged care sector, including Eldercare, Qualcare, and others;
- Genesis Energy on its 2016 acquisition (from NZOG) of an additional 15% interest in the Kupe field ($168m);
- Fonterra’s 2015 joint venture with Abbott Laboratories ($342m);
- Primavera Capital’s acquisition (via scheme) of Vitaco Health Group;
- Genesis Energy on its $735m IPO;
- Guardians of NZ Superannuation on their exits (via IPO) from Scales Corporation and from Z Energy;
- Aveo Group on its underwritten block trade of its residual stake in MetlifeCare ($270m);
- Fonterra Co-operative Group on it’s 2012 capital restructure, under which TAF (Trading Among Farmers) was launched; Fonterra shares were listed on the Fonterra Shareholders’ Market; and the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund was formed and listed on the NZX.