Biography

David is a partner in Gilbert + Tobin’s Corporate Advisory and Restructuring and Insolvency practice groups.

David focuses on public and private mergers and acquisitions, complex corporate restructuring and equity capital markets transactions.  His broad practice extends to all aspects of corporate law, including distressed M&A and debt-for-equity exchange transactions, in respect of which he is a market leader.

David’s clients include ASX-listed companies and stapled vehicles, cross-border conglomerates and trading houses, leading global alternative investment management firms, sovereign wealth funds and large institutional investors, investment banks and financial advisory firms.

David regularly writes on issues pertinent to his areas of practice, including co-authoring chapters in ‘Getting The Deal Through - Mergers & Acquisitions’ and ‘Navigating M&A Deals in the Asia-Pacific’.

David has degrees in Commerce and Law (First Class Honours) and a Master of Laws.

David has acted on some of Australia’s largest and most complex corporate and restructuring transactions, including advising:

Takeover bids and schemes of arrangement

  • Boardriders, Inc. on its acquisition of Billabong International Limited by way of scheme of arrangement.
  • GrainCorp Limited in relation to the takeover offer from Archer Daniels Midland Company, which valued GrainCorp at $3.4 billion.
  • Pacific Equity Partners on its $1.1 billion acquisition of Spotless Group Limited by scheme of arrangement.
  • Coal & Allied Limited in relation to a scheme of arrangement under which Coal & Allied was privatised by Rio Tinto and Mitsubishi Development. The transaction valued Coal & Allied at $10.8 billion.
  • Telstra Corporation Limited, in its capacity as a partner in the FOXTEL partnership, in relation to FOXTEL’s $2 billion acquisition of AUSTAR.

Cross-border private M&A transactions

  • A leading Asian institutional investor in relation to certain significant real estate investments in Australia.
  • Vitol on its $2.9 billion acquisition of Shell’s Australian downstream assets, including the Geelong Refinery and 870 retail sites across the country.
  • Westpac on its $8 billion acquisition of Lloyd’s Australian assets.
  • Holcim Ltd on its $2.02 billion purchase of the Australian operations of CEMEX SAB de CV.

Complex corporate restructurings | Distressed M&A situations

  • Anchorage Capital Group and certain other secured creditors in relation to a creditors’ scheme of arrangement pursuant to which those creditors exchanged a portion of their secured claims for control of Slater + Gordon Limited.
  • Bis Industries Limited in relation to a series of complex deleveraging transactions implemented by way of creditors’ schemes of arrangement.
  • First Pacific Advisors in respect of its involvement in the landmark restructuring of ASX-listed Boart Longyear Limited.
  • KordaMentha, in their capacity as administrators of Arrium Limited (In Administration), in relation to a dual-track IPO and trade sale process in respect of Arrium Limited’s mining consumables business (Moly-Cop) which culminated in funds advised by American Industrial Partners acquiring Moly-Cop for an enterprise value of US$1.23 billion.
  • Ad Hoc Committees of lenders to Emeco Holdings Limited, Atlas Iron Limited and Mirabela Nickel Limited in relation to the debt for equity exchange transactions proposed and/or effectuated in relation to those ASX-listed companies.
  • Nine Entertainment Co. on its $3.4 billion deleveraging transaction implemented by creditors scheme of arrangement.
  • Centerbridge and Oaktree on their successful debt and equity recapitalisation of Billabong International Limited.

Equity capital markets

  • Viva Energy on its successful $2.65 billion initial public offering and listing on the ASX. 
  • Viva Energy Australia and Viva Energy REIT in relation to the establishment and ASX-listing of Viva Energy REIT, a multi-billion dollar stapled real estate investment trust structure.
  • The administrators of Mirabela Nickel Limited in relation to an offer of equity securities while the company remained subject to a deed of company arrangement.

David was listed in the areas of Distressed Investing & Debt Trading and Mergers and Acquisitions Law.

Best Lawyers Australia 2020

David ranks in the Restructuring and Insolvency category.

Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2019

David was nominated as a finalist in the Australian Dealmaker of the Year category in recognition of his transactional expertise.

Lawyers Weekly Law Awards