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08 Nov 2011

Clayton Utz teams up to advise PEP on innovative joint venture

Sydney, 8 November 2011: Leading law firms Clayton Utz and Freehills have jointly advised Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) on its joint venture with Swedish-based global consumer goods company Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA) to develop SCA's Australasian operations.

Partners Philip Kapp and Mark Williamson led the Clayton Utz team, which advised PEP on the joint venture arrangements. Freehills partners Mark Crean, Hayley Neilson and Kristin Stammer led the firm's team in advising PEP on the M&A, banking and intellectual property aspects of the transaction.

Structured as an equal joint venture, the transaction is innovative in the Australian private equity market where 100 per cent acquisitions are more typical.

The transaction involved parallel negotiations in Australia and Sweden and required close collaboration between PEP, Freehills and Clayton Utz across a large number of practice areas.

Commenting on the joint venture structure, Clayton Utz partner and long-standing adviser to PEP, Philip Kapp, said it required his team to "think outside the square" to achieve an excellent commercial outcome for the joint venture partners.

Under the joint venture, PEP and SCA will invest in the expansion of SCA Hygiene Australasia's (SCAHA) operations, which span Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. SCAHA manufactures and markets a number of leading brands including Sorbent, Purex, Handee Ultra and Libra.

Lead corporate partners Philip Kapp and Mark Crean acknowledged the efforts and achievements of all involved: "The teams at PEP, Freehills and Clayton Utz have worked together seamlessly on this complex transaction to deliver a fantastic commercial outcome for PEP in what was a very tight timeframe."

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.