Corporate Advisory
Substantial experience and deep sector knowledge
Our corporate advisory team advises a broad range of corporate clients, banks, financial institutions, boards and individual directors on their corporate governance-related matters which affect them on an ongoing basis.

We advise on all aspects of their ongoing corporate affairs including company law, corporate governance, dispute with or between shareholders, directors’ duties and compliance.

Our corporate advisory services are also highly valued by investors in companies. Investors rely on us to advise on their interaction with portfolio companies and in ensuring that the right standards of legal and regulatory compliance are being met by those companies.

We are recommended as a Leading Firm for Corporate, and Mergers & Acquisitions by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020 and Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020.  One client describes the team as getting " the balance just right between their approach when dealing with other advisors, applying pragmatism during the dealmaking process and being responsive and knowledgeable."


Recent Projects

  • Advising Milford Private Equity on its Series B investment in Cluey Learning, an Australian based online tutoring platform for school students.
  • Advising Milford Private Equity on its investment into the 45 South Group, one of New Zealand’s largest vertically integrated cherry businesses.
  • Advising the major shareholders in Auckland-based Agility CIS Limited on their share sale to London-based private equity firm SilverTree Equity and Auckland-based Pioneer Capital.
  • Advising certain directors and employees in NZX listed Serko on their secondary offering.
  • Advising the Reddy Group on the merger of its Fiji based Clyde equipment hire business with the Acrow Group, New Zealand’s largest scaffolding, formwork, falsework and event infrastructure business.
  • Advising the owner-managers of a honey manufacturing business in relation to the divestment of a majority stake to an overseas private equity fund.
  • Advising Castlerock Partners on its investment in a joint venture acquiring the assets of the Hell Pizza business.
  • Advising a significant New Zealand based private equity fund on a bid for a $200m healthcare asset portfolio.
  • Advising a significant New Zealand based private equity fund on a bid for a $25m waste management business.
  • Advising Hotline LP, a private equity and venture capital fund affiliated with Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors on its Series A investment in Virsae Group Limited.
  • Advising the sellers on the sale of I Love Limited to Rank Group Limited.
  • Advising the sellers on the sale of Trak Group Limited to MSS Solutions Limited (Australia).
  • Advising an Australian private equity fund on its bid for OfficeMax.
  • Advising a significant New Zealand based private equity fund on a bid for a $25m waste management business.
  • Advising a NZX listed client to ensure their consumer contracts comply with the CCCFA.
  • Acting for the New Zealand Warriors on the sale of the club to an investment consortium made up of the Carlaw Heritage Trust and Autex Industries as part of a competitive bid process.
  • Acting for Pioneer Capital and associated private equity vendors on the sale of Konnect Net to Clanwilliam Group.
  • Assisting a number of large US-based companies to establish their businesses in New Zealand.
  • Preparing and advising on supply and distribution agreements for several manufacturers and exporters.
  • Advising clients on corporate structuring matters including preparing shareholder agreements and company constitutions.
  • Advising Nederlandse Tapijten Holding B.V., an entity associated with the Belgotex global flooring business, on its acquisition of Irvine International Floors.
  • Acting for Bendon on its merger with Naked Brand Group and listing on the NASDAQ.
  • Advising SKY TV on its Series A investment in 90 Seconds, a capital raising led by Sequoia Capital. The transaction also included a separate pre-Series A funding by SKY TV via convertible notes.
  • Advising the owner managers of Retail Dimension, a market leading retail design company, on the sale of a majority shareholding to a private equity consortium and its post-sale joint venture arrangements. He also acted on Retail Dimension's subsequent acquisition of Page + Co, an Australasian commercial interiors and fit-out business.
  • Advising Electric Kiwi on its establishment, licensing, and implementation of retail electricity services including all lines company contracts and terms of trade. Hayley is currently assisting them with their retail licence application in Australia; Fair Trading Act matters; corporate arrangements with their UK investors and retail hedge contracts.
  • Advising Stellar Projects, a multi-disciplinary project delivery consultancy, on their corporate, commercial, structuring and transactional requirements.
  • Advising ANZ Bank in relation to the restructure, receivership and sale of a large New Zealand transport business.
  • Advising on the sale of significant South Island dairy farming assets to an overseas investment fund.
  • Advising Fishpond Limited on a range of commercial and corporate matters.
  • Advising a New Zealand based private equity fund in bid for a minority stake in a SAS business.
  • Advised the managers on all aspects (corporate, finance, employment and property) of their management buy-out of Auldhouse, a division of Telecom/Gen-I, by way of asset purchase.
  • Advising Hitachi Construction Machinery (Japan) on all aspects of legal compliance and operations in relation to its New Zealand business.
  • Advising a European government owned entity on its proposed purchase of certain water related assets in New Zealand by way of share sale.
  • Advising the managers on all aspects (corporate, finance, employment and property) of their management buy-out of Auldhouse, a division of Telecom/Gen-I, by way of asset purchase.
  • Acting for Sennheiser New Zealand Limited in respect of its acquisition of the business and assets of Syntec International Limited (NZ).
  • Acting for Pacific Metal Recycling Limited in its purchase of the business and assets of CMA Recycling Limited, out of administration.
  • Advising PQ Blackwell on its international joint venture with Moleskine.
  • Advising European Capital Management on its global outsourcing of certain aspects of its European funds management business.
  • Advising Sciele Pharma, Inc. on its equity investment in a publicly listed company and entry into a long-term exclusive supply agreement.
  • Advising a global fund in relation to its investment in dairy farming assets and real estate in Brazil.
  • Acted for Downer Australia and Downer New Zealand on its sale of Spiire New Zealand Limited to Brown Consulting (Aust) Pty Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of ASX listed Calibre Group Limited).
  • Acts for ANZ New Zealand National Bank Limited in relation to financing transactions and recovery matters.
  • Provides ongoing advice to Downer Australia and New Zealand in relation to its group financing arrangements, including its public debt and listed shares.
  • Acts for De Lage Landen (Rabobank's equipment financing division) in relation to New Zealand financing and enforcement matters.
  • Advised the managers on all aspects (corporate, finance, employment and property) of their management buy-out of Auldhouse, a division of Telecom/Gen-I.
  • Acted for Pacific Recycling Group in respect to its purchase of the business of CMA Recycling Limited (out of administration).
  • Acted for the purchaser of the largest sheep and beef farming operation in the Waikato Region.
  • Acted for Newmark Capital Australia in relation to the offering of its wholesale property fund to New Zealand investors.
  • Acted for the managers on all aspects of their acquisition of Big Blue Limited, New Zealand's second largest water cooler business.
  • Acted for the cornerstone investor in relation to the establishment of the Petmarket brand in New Zealand.
  • Acted for Ardmore Aviation in relation the purchase and finance of aircraft.
  • Acted for the Anglican Church of New Zealand Aotearoa in relation to its obligations under New Zealand financial services and anti-money laundering regulations.
  • Advising Flotech Holdings Limited in relation to governance and financing matters.
  • Acted for BOS International in relation to its divestment of a number of its New Zealand finance assets and also its position in relation to the Hilton Hotel in Denarau, Fiji.
  • Acted for Agria Group (China) in relation to the New Zealand financing elements of its partial takeover of listed company PGG Wrightson.
  • Advised on numerous mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures particularly in relation to the food, port, and infrastructure sectors.
  • Provided advice to listed companies and multinational companies.
  • Had extensive international and government experience, assisting businesses to set up overseas and meet the applicable regulatory requirements.
  • Providing advice to companies on governance and restructuring matters.



Privacy Act 2020 – Are you ready?

New Zealand’s highly anticipated Privacy Act will commence on 1 December 2020, replacing the Privacy Act 1993.

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COVID-19: OIO to screen all overseas investments

The Government has announced that it will amend the Overseas Investment Act in mid-June. From then, the proposal is that all foreign investment that results in a more than 25% ownership interest, an increase in existing interests to, or greater than, 50%, 75%, 100%, or effectively a change of control in the underlying business, must be notified.

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Pivoting in procurement – suppliers and purchasers forced to urgently review contracts and procurement processes

Supply chain has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and New Zealand is swiftly moving through the lockdown levels.

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Crisis cartels or COVID collusion: Supreme Court Judgement a timely reminder against cartel arrangements

A Supreme Court judgement handed down last month related to the Commerce Commission’s cases against real estate agencies in Hamilton in connection with TradeMe fees for properties listed for sale. The Commerce Commission has to date secured $19m in penalties and the High Court will now determine the penalties for the remaining two agencies and two individuals. This time next year it will be a criminal offence to enter into a cartel arrangement in New Zealand. This aligning New Zealand competition law with that of Australia and other trading partners.

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COVID-19: Safe harbour from insolvent trading – what does this mean for directors?

As COVID-19 has dramatically changed the business landscape in New Zealand, many directors have been left wondering whether their efforts to save their businesses could expose them to personal liability for trading whilst insolvent.

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COVID-19 The Business Finance Guarantee Scheme

On 1 April the New Zealand Government, together with retail banks and the Reserve Bank announced the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme package for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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COVID-19: Urgent measures taken to avoid or delay insolvencies - Important changes to the Companies Act 1993

At a press conference today given by Finance Minister Grant Robertson (Minister) it was announced that the government will be introducing legislation to amend the Companies Act 1993 (Act) to help companies that are faced with insolvency due to COVID-19.

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Moving with the times

It always seems to be a rough road for the agri-sector. Recent years have seen it faced with drought, low milk prices and a change in government which has had severe knock on implications not only for overseas investors, but also for famers themselves. The banks are tightening their LVR requirements and some are looking to divest of certain agri-sectors all together.

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Your business brand – a steal?

Whether you are running a small local business or a large multi-national organisation, your brand will often be your most important asset. A distinctive brand is an important way to target and maintain a connection with your chosen market. By protecting your brand, you can ensure that it remains unique to your business and contributes to strong and consistent brand awareness amongst both your existing customers and your wider target market.

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How should you structure your business? Contractors versus employees

Anthony Drake, Partner at Wynn Williams talks to Jake Millar, CEO of Unfiltered about how to structure your business. 

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Five tips for entrepreneurs

Nick Kovacevich, Partner at Wynn Williams talks to Jake Millar, CEO of Unfiltered about his top five tips for entrepreneurs. The video includes the importance of having a shareholder’s agreement, looking after your intellectual property and why people are the most important aspect of your business.

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New entrepreneur? When’s the right time to engage a lawyer?

Nick Kovacevich, Partner at Wynn Williams interviews Jake Millar, CEO of Unfiltered about his experiences as an entrepreneur starting out.

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Capital raise – there is no one size fits all

When looking to raise equity capital for your business, it is crucial to understand that there is no one size fits all approach. A business will need to understand the full range of capital raising options available to it and then choose the option which not only optimises the actual cash raised but the value added to the business by an investor.

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Takeovers Code Exemption for Small Code Companies

Under the Takeovers Code (Code), a person and their associates are prohibited from becoming the holders or controllers of 20% or more of the voting rights in a company with 50 or more shareholders and 50 share parcels (Code Company), except in a manner permitted by the Code.

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Trends in M&A

As the M&A landscape continues to shift towards equilibrium after the GFC, recent international trends have emerged in the New Zealand market. Specifically, the increased use of: • locked box pricing mechanisms; • warranty and indemnity insurance; and • the "fundamental warranty" exclusion for vendor warranty limitations.

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Equity crowdfunding - what's it all really about?

Once again, New Zealand is leading the way in business reform. New laws allowing equity crowdfunding fundamentally change the way that private companies can raise funds, and give them a meaningful, cost effective and efficient way of doing so. The recent implementation of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2103 allows companies to raise up to $2 million from the New Zealand public in a 12 month period, in return for shares in their company, provided they do so via a licensed equity crowdfunding provider.

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New Zealand: Equity crowdfunding gets green light from the minister - no individual investor caps

Equity crowdfunding gets green light from the Minister – no individual investor caps Cabinet has approved the regulations for equity crowdfunding which will come into force on 1 April. Equity crowdfunding will allow businesses to raise up to $2 million from investors, via a licensed crowdfunding platform, without the need for a formal prospectus or prescribed investment statement. Commerce Minister Craig Foss announced today that there will be no individual caps on the amount any investor may invest in a company raising funds via a licensed equity crowdfunding platform, provided however that a company will only be permitted to raise up to $2 million in any year. Wynn Williams has made a number of submissions on investor caps, as well as meeting with MBIE and Minister Foss, and has voiced strong support of no individual investor caps.

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How equity crowdfunding is accelerating start-ups in New Zealand

The New Zealand government is backing innovation and we in Australia seem to be watching on as our smaller neighbour becomes more agile and starts to get noticed overseas. The recent introduction of crowdfunding is just one example of how the entrepreneurial landscape in New Zealand is changing. With platforms such as Snowball Effect signing licensing agreements with the new regulator, the Financial Markets Authority, Kiwi entrepreneurs and investors are off to a flying financial start. Lawyer Hayley Buckley of New Zealand based Wynn Williams Lawyers estimates more than $NZ7.2 million has been raised via equity crowdfunding; $NZ5.7 million of that with Snowball Effect. Six companies have received significant investments to date, including Invivo Wines raising $2 million and capping out.

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Wynn Williams Christchurch
Level 5, Wynn Williams House, 47 Hereford Street, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand.
PO Box 4341, DX WX11179, Christchurch 8140.
+64 3 379 7622
+64 3 379 2467
Wynn Williams Auckland
Level 25, Vero Centre, 48 Shortland Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.
PO Box 2401, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140.
+64 9 300 2600
+64 9 300 2609

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