Three Firms Take Lead on $1.2 Billion Aussie Deal
Paul Hastings is advising global construction consulting firm Jacobs Engineering Group on its purchase of Australia's Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) for roughly $1.2 billion in cash.
Pasadena-based Jacobs said Sunday it has agreed to acquire SKM, an employee-owned consulting company that provides engineering, architecture, construction, and other consulting services to clients in industries ranging from mining to energy. Formed in Sydney in 1964, SKM has 6,500 employees and operates in Australia, Asia, South America, and the United Kingdom. Jacobs CEO Craig Martin said in a statement that the acquisition would allow the companies "to continue to expand our client relationships and provide significant opportunities for our employees."
The deal is subject to the approval of regulators and SKM shareholders, with the latter voting on the proposed transaction at meetings to be held before the end of the year. The deal is expected to close before the end of the first quarter of 2014.
Jacobs is being represented by Paul Hastings as well as Allens, Linklaters's Australian alliance firm. Los Angeles–based M&A partner Robert Miller and M&A of counsel Meagan Olsen are leading the Paul Hastings team, while London-based M&A partners Ronan O'Sullivan and Ross McNaughton are also advising. Associates on the deal for Paul Hastings are David Mallett, Jiten Tank, Lisa Tran, and George Weston.
Paul Hastings has handled various past transactions for Jacobs, including the company's 2011 acquisition of Norway's Aker Solutions for more than $900 million, as well as the purchase of Australian IT services company Unique World for an undisclosed amount later that year.
The Allens team, which acted as Australian counsel to Jacobs, was led by corporate partner Julian Donnan in Sydney. Competition partner Kon Stellios and litigation partner Kim Reid are also working on the deal, along with senior associates Alex Borda and Andrew Byrne. Jacobs's general counsel is William Markley III.
Meanwhile, Jones Day is leading the way for SKM with a deal team led by Sydney-based private equity partner Matthew Latham and London-based M&A partner Weyinmi Popo. Helen Gillies is SKM's general counsel.