Neil heads the Gilbert + Tobin Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) team in Melbourne, is co-head of the Corporate group of the firm and is a member of Gilbert + Tobin’s board of partners.
Neil is also a member of the Australian Government's Takeovers Panel (the peer review body that regulates public company control transactions and is the primary forum for resolving takeover disputes).
Neil specialises in listed company takeovers, schemes of arrangement, cross border M&A, mining/resources, capital markets and corporate governance matters having over 25 years of experience in these fields.
Best Lawyers named him Melbourne’s Corporate Lawyer of the Year and M&A Lawyer of the Year in 2013 and 2012.
He is recognised as a leading Australian M&A lawyer in all key international publications including Best Lawyers, Chambers, PLC Which Lawyer?, Legal 500 and International Who’s Who of M&A Lawyers.
Neil has recently advised on the following transactions:
- TPG consortium’s $2.7 billion proposal to acquire Fairfax Media
- Ansell’s A$800 million sale of its Sexual Wellness business to Humanwell Healthcare/Citic
- Spotless on its defence of the $1.2 billion hostile takeover bid by Downer EDI Limited
- APN Property Group on its proposed IPO of its Retail Property Fund (service stations)
- Wesfarmers in respect of its strategic review of Officeworks
- Potential strategic buyer’s consideration of the Arrium assets
- APN Property Group’s sale of Generation Healthcare Management and Generation Healthcare REIT
- Syrah Resources $200 million placement (2016) and successful $212 million entitlement offer (2015)
- Juwai’s proposed IPO and Lux Group’s proposed IPO
- AB InBev on Australian aspects of its US$117 billion takeover of SAB Miller (CUB/Fosters), the largest takeover in the world in 2016
- AusNet Services $120 million acquisition of Mortlake Terminal Station
- Aquis proposed redevelopment of Canberra Casino and related regulatory reforms
- iSelect on its takeover discussions
- Bidder for Transgrid in NSW poles & wires privatisation, ultimately sold for $10.3 billion
- Bidder for Swisse, ultimately sold for $1.6 billion
- Vail Resorts on its acquisition of Perisher
- Victorian State on the termination settlement of the East-West Link project
- Orica on its proposed $750 million sale of its Chemicals business to Blackstone
- Wesfarmers on its successful acquisition of Pacific Brands Workwear division
- TPG, PAG Asia and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board on its successful acquisition of DTZ property services business from UGL Limited for a purchase price of $1.215 billion
- Stanhill Capital Partners on its takeover of Robust Resources
- IFM on the sale of Endeavour Learning Group to Vocation
- Aurora Oil & Gas on its $2.6 billion takeover by Baytex Energy via scheme of arrangement
- Little Group (owned by Paul Little) on its takeover of Real Estate Corp
- SP AusNet on the $824 million sell-down of 20% of SP AusNet by its major shareholder, Singapore Power, to State Grid of China
- iSelect on its initial public offer
- Westpac and Hastings Funds Management in relation to the $2 billion sale of infrastructure assets to the Future Fund and management internalisation proposal
- DuluxGroup on its successful unsolicited takeover bid for Alesco
- Orica on its Pilbara JV with Yara and Apache to build a US$800 million ammonium nitrate plant
- Exxaro Resources on its successful takeover of African Iron
Neil has a track record of successfully advising leading clients on company defining or bet the farm transactions including:
- Orica and Dulux Group on the $1 billion demerger and ASX listing of DuluxGroup
- Pure Energy on the competing $1 billion takeover bids for it by BG plc and Arrow Energy
- OZ Minerals on its US$1.4 billion asset sale to China Minmetals and related takeover and recapitalisation proposals
- MYOB on its takeover by Manhattan Software, a private equity consortium
- Coles on its $22 billion takeover by Wesfarmers (Australia’s largest ever takeover)
- Orica on its acquisition of Dyno Nobel in a consortium with Macquarie Bank for US$1.7 billion
Neil has spent time working at pre-eminent London and New York law firms.
Neil has previously authored the leading text on Australian takeovers, Takeovers Law and Strategy and is the principal author of the State of the M&A Nation and G+T’s annual Takeovers and Schemes Review.
Neil has bachelor degrees in Law (with First Class Honours) and Commerce (Finance major) from the University of Melbourne. He also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment. He lectures in takeovers and securities laws at the University of Melbourne and is a member of the Corporations Committee of the Law Council of Australia.
+61 3 8656 3339