Rod Halstead OAM

Clayton Utz
Director - Strategic Corporate/M&A Sydney

Rod Halstead is consistently rated amongst the top Australian lawyers for mergers and acquisitions, corporate law and governance.

He has more than 40 years' experience advising major domestic and international corporations, institutions and investors on structuring and execution of contested and negotiated takeovers and mergers, including cross-border transactions with UK, US and South East Asia clients. He focuses on listed entities whose securities are traded on public markets and private treaty transactions.

Rod regularly advises the senior management and Boards of major Australian companies on complex governance and Board responsibility matters, including strategic corporate issues and regulatory requirements. He was a member of the Australian Takeovers Panel, which oversees the conduct of M&A in Australia.

Notable Work
  • Spotless Group: advised Spotless on its approximately A$720 million acquisition by Pacific Equity Partners, a private equity sponsor, a transaction which attracted significant public comment and where significant pressure was placed on the Board of the target company.
  • HBOS: advised HBOS, as vendor, on its sale of BankWest and the St Andrew's wealth and insurance business to Commonwealth Bank of Australia for A$2.5 billion.
  • Seven Group: advised in relation to the successful A$2.6 billion merger of Seven Network and WesTrac, and ASX listing of Seven Group Holdings Limited by scheme of arrangement.
  • Origin Energy: successfully defended Origin against the A$14 billion unsolicited hostile takeover offer from BG Group. This was one of the largest hostile bids in Australian corporate history and the most successful takeover defense in Australia in modern times.
  • Virgin Australia: key team member in advising the Board and senior management of Virgin Australia Limited on corporate transactions and governance matters, including the A$1.1 billion capital raising and strategic investments by HNA Group and Nanshan Group.
  • Myer Holdings Limited: advising the senior management and Board of Myer Holdings Limited in relation to governance and related issues addressed in 2017 and 2018. in relation to sensitive governance and related issues.
  • Singapore Exchange (SGX): advised SGX on its proposed merger with ASX Ltd via scheme of arrangement, valuing the merged entity at approximately A$16 billion. This included advising on the required Australian regulatory and Parliamentary approvals.
  • AMP Limited: lead partner who advised AMP on its A$14 billion merger with AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Limited which saw AMP merge the Australian and New Zealand businesses of AXA AP with its own operations while AXA SA acquired AXA AP's Asian businesses.
  • Constellation Brands, Inc.: advised Constellation Brands on its A$2.472 billion acquisition of BRL Hardy Limited by scheme of arrangement, creating the world’s largest wine business by volume, and subsequently on the divestment of its Australian and UK business to CHAMP Private Equity.
  • Colonial Limited: advised on its A$9 billion merger with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the largest financial services takeover in Australian corporate history. As lead lawyer, Rod was responsible for co-ordinating all legal advice to Colonial Board and Management, and the successful structuring of the transaction including obtaining capital gains tax rollover relief for Colonial Shareholders.
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