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Ashton Goatley


Ashton is a corporate partner in the Auckland office of Webb Henderson.

He has experience advising on complex transactions and regulatory matters for both New Zealand and overseas clients, including joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance matters and commercial contracts.

Ashton’s experience includes advising:

  • Fonterra Co-operative Group on all aspects of its ‘Flexible Shareholding’ capital structure, including legal analysis of potential structures and transition processes (including capping the size of the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund); review of Government engagement and farmer consultation materials; preparation of Constitutional amendments, meeting materials and shareholding rules; amendments to Fonterra’s governing legislation; and novel market-making arrangements (including engagement with NZX’s regulatory arm, NZ RegCo) and on-market share buy-back programmes in the Fonterra Shareholders’ Market;
  • the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation on the sale of Kiwibank to the Crown, alongside other selling shareholders NZ Post and ACC, at an enterprise value of $2.12 billion;
  • Macquarie Asset Management on its $200 million cornerstone investment in Winton Land as part of Winton’s $1.15 billion IPO and listing, and a subsequent acquisition of a further stake in Winton;
  • major participants in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme on their compliance obligations;
  • Indevin Group, New Zealand’s largest wine producer, on its acquisition of the iconic Villa Maria Estate from the Fistonich family (vendor entity in receivership);
  • the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation on their joint venture with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) Infra, bidding to construct and operate the ‘City Centre to Māngere' light rail project, including regulatory requirements under the Guardians’ governing legislation and arrangements for ancillary projects;
  • Mercury Capital on its investments in Recreational Services Limited (and bolt-on acquisition of Urban Maintenance Systems NZ) and Architectus Aotearoa Limited;
  • Genesis Energy on its strategic review of its 46% shareholding in the Kupe oil and gas field and related joint venture, including new long-term natural gas and LPG contracts;
  • Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited on the restructuring of its Darnum joint venture with Beingmate Baby & Child Food Co;
  • 9 Spokes International Limited on efforts to raise capital by introducing strategic investors, the establishment of bridge financing arrangements, amendments to those arrangements, and capital raising by a fully underwritten rights issue;
  • a major New Zealand business on corporate governance matters, including the key out-takes of the APRA review into the Commonwealth Bank of Australia; and
  • Genesis Energy Limited on its $192 million acquisition of the retail LPG business of Nova Energy, including complex transitional services arrangements.

Ashton is an author of the 2019-2023 Chambers Global Practice Guide on Corporate Governance (New Zealand) and was selected as an NZ Lawyer Rising Star for 2021. He was also an Excellence Awardee in the category of Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year at the 2021 New Zealand Law Awards.

Ashton was admitted to practice in New Zealand in 2013.