Skadden, Russell McVeagh on $1.6 Billion NZ IPO

, The Asian Lawyer

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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Russell McVeagh; and Allens advised Meridian Energy Ltd. on its $1.6 billion initial public offering, the largest ever in New Zealand.

The New Zealand government listed a 49 percent stake in Meridian, the country’s largest power generator and retailer, as part of a $4.1 billion privatization plan aimed at closing a budget deficit through June 2015. Earlier this year, the government raised $1.4 billion by selling a 49 percent stake in Mighty River Power Ltd., also a power generation company.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the government is also planning to sell interests in power company Genesis Energy Ltd. and the national airline, Air New Zealand Ltd.

Sydney partner Mark Leemen led a Skadden team advising Meridian on U.S. and international law that also included Los Angeles partner Michael Beinus, Hong Kong partner Christopher Betts, London partner Danny Tricot, Tokyo partner Hiro Kamiya, Sydney partner Adrian Deitz, and Paris partner Pascal Bine.

Russell McVeagh Auckland partner Pip Greenwood acted as New Zealand counsel to Meridian. Allens advised the issuer on Australian law.

Buddle Findlay Auckland partner Sacha Judd advised underwriters Deutsche Craigs Limited, Goldman Sachs and Macquarie Capital.

Bell Gully represented the New Zealand government in the deal.

Email: azhang@alm.com.

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