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Jonathan  Wenig

About Jonathan

Jonathan Wenig’s practice and expertise spans the breadth of commercial and corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate work, technology and financing. He is a trusted advisor to numerous active and innovative public companies–bringing his intellect and experience to bear not only in their corporate matters and acquisition activities, but across their legal affairs and strategic challenges and opportunities.

Widely praised as a ‘very impressive lawyer’ who, in one client’s words, ‘gets the big picture and really cares about our company, yet is not afraid to disagree constructively and say what he thinks.’

Chambers Global

Jonathan has also acted on and managed some of the most complex and important private transactions in the Australian marketplace.

Jonathan’s specialties are expressed in his strategic insight, his skills of analysis and communication, and the breadth of his business experience across a range of industry sectors, including internet, manufacturing, agriculture, retail, health and banking.

Jonathan is ranked as one of Australia’s leading Corporate/M&A lawyers in successive editions of Chambers Global, and described as “smart, precise, commercial and knowledgeable” who, in one client's words, “consistently provides quality advice and counsel.”. The Legal 500 Asia Pacific similarly consistently highlights him in this area for his ability to “quickly dissect the important issues.” He is also recognised by Best Lawyers® International in the area of corporate law and M&A law and is consistently ranked by Doyle’s Guide for his expertise in private equity and corporate and M&A law. At the 2015 Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards, Jonathan’s team was awarded ‘Transaction Team of the Year’.

Jonathan has an honours law degree from The University of Melbourne. He completed his articled clerkship with Arnold Bloch Leibler in 1995 and was admitted to the partnership in July 2001.

Practice focus

Jonathan’s practice focuses on the following areas:

  • mergers and acquisitions, including takeovers;
  • public listings and capital raisings, including Corporations Act and ASX listing rule advice and cross-border migration; and
  • infrastructure privatisation and major projects, including project documentation and structuring of equity participation.

Directorships & memberships

Jonathan was Co-Chair of Leibler Yavneh College from 2009-2013 and has been a member of the Advisory Board of Pacific Group of Companies since 2010.
 
In 2016, Jonathan joined the Board of Allplay Sports, a venture established between the Australian Football League and Deakin University's Child Study Centre to promote the inclusion of children with special needs in sport.
 
In 2016, Jonathan was invited to join the Board of Giant Steps Melbourne.

Experience

Jonathan has acted in a range of corporate and commercial matters, including:

  • Dr. Gary Weiss and Adriane Australia: in relation to a successful campaign for change at Ardent Leisure Group, the owner of the Dreamworld theme park;
  • Labelmakers: in relation to its agreement to acquire Label & Litho, a New Zealand based self-adhesive label manufacturer focused on the food and beverage sector;
  • Trawalla Group: in relation to all legal commercial aspects of the acquisition of the landmark Parliament Square site in Hobart, Tasmania;
  • SEEK Limited: in relation to:
    • its acquisition of a further ownership stake in Online Education Services Pty Ltd;
    • its major strategic investment in IDP, its acquisition of Selfcert, and its listing on the ASX; 
    • its acquisition of the Think Education Group and interests in several overseas employment websites;
    • its $206m acquisition of a 60 per cent stake in Jobs DB, an online employment company with operations throughout South-East Asia;
    • its $100m placement and subsequent share purchase plan and top-up offer in 2010; and
    • the acquisition of an accumulated stake in the leading South-East Asian employment website, JobStreet;
  • carsales.com Limited: in relation to: 
    • its acquisition of DeMotores, the operator of automotive classified websites in Argentina, Colombia and Chile;
    • its IPO and listing on the ASX, subsequent acquisitions, financing and corporate advice; 
    • its acquisition of Discount Vehicles Australia and acting for ACP Magazines Limited in the merger of its online automotive classifieds business with Carsales;
    • its successful bid to acquire a 30 per cent interest in the largest automotive classifieds website in Brazil, WebMotors SA;
    • its acquisition of a 19.9 per cent stake in the leading ASEAN network of on-line automotive sites, iCar Asia Ltd; and
    • its acquisition of a 49.9 per cent interest in the on-line assets of SK Encar, South Korea’s leading automotive trading business;
  • IDP Education Limited: in relation to the acquisition of Hotcourses, a digital marketing and online student recruitment company, for £34.9m (A$56m);
  • Icon Construction: in relation to its sale of a majority stake to one of Japan’s largest builders, Kajima Corporation;
  • Tishman Speyer Properties, a leading global real estate company, and associated funds: in relation to the US$338.4m privatisation ($1.9bn overall transaction value) of the ASX-listed Tishman Speyer Office Fund;
  • the Grenda family: in relation to the sale of its bus and coach operating businesses, Grenda Transit Management, to privately owned Melbourne bus operator, Ventura;
  • Square Peg Ventures: in relation to its merger with Victoria Capital to establish its new venture capital firm, Square Peg Capital Pty Ltd, which will specialise in early stage, start-up, and expansion stage investments;
  • Probiotec Limited: in the sale of its Milton brand and business to Rivadis Australia with Probiotec providing ongoing distribution and manufacturing services to the Milton business;
  • Voyager Travel (including its major shareholder, the Krongold Group): in the sale of Voyager Travel Corporation to ATP Instone, a leading UK travel company;
  • Rathbone Wine Group: in relation it its restructure and recapitalisation in 2014;
  • Kidspot: in relation to its sale to Australian media giant, News Limited;
  • VISY Property Group: in relation to a successful bid to secure long-term financing of $150m through a private placement of notes in the US;
  • VISY Industries: acting in its multi-jurisdictional A$850m acquisition of Southcorp’s packaging business;
  • Breville Group: acting in relation to the $300m takeover offer from GUD Holdings Limited;
  • Slater & Gordon: in relation to:
    • its landmark listing on the ASX – the first law firm in the world to offer shares to the public and list on a recognised exchange;
    • the renegotiation of its A$168m debt facilities for the financing of its acquisition of United Kingdom (UK) law firm, Russell Jones & Walker; and
    • its $64m capital raising, which involved a fully underwritten $59m placement and a non-underwritten $5m share purchase plan to eligible existing shareholders;
  • Ninemsn: acting in various strategic investments, including in iSelect and Life Events Media; 
  • Jenny Craig Australia & New Zealand: acting for a consortium in the acquisition of the Australian and New Zealand operations of Jenny Craig, commercial advice and sale to Nestle;
  • Buxton Group: in relation to the sale of its Rylands Village business;
  • Gyrocam Systems: acting for a number of vendors in relation to the sale to Lockheed Martin;
  • Pratt Group: acting in the group’s project financing of a A$400m paper mill at Tumut, NSW, and in several global refinancing transactions;
  • Fernz Corporation Limited: acting in the group’s successful migration from New Zealand to Australia and subsequent listing on the ASX as Nufarm Limited;
  • Nufarm Limited: in relation to:
    • the establishment of its Australasian seeds business, including several key acquisitions; 
    • its acquisition of Agripec in Brazil and Crop Care, and in its disposal of Fernz Specialty Chemicals;
    • the $611m strategic investment by Sumitomo Chemical Company, and the defence of the proposed scheme of arrangement by Chinese state-owned company, Sinochem Corporation; 
    • its $251m renounceable rights issue in 2010, its $300m placement and subsequent share purchase plan in 2009, and its $251m issue of hybrid securities and dual quotation on ASX and NZDX in 2006; and
    • its $900m refinancing in 2010;
  • Sussan Group: acting for the group in its successful acquisition of the Sportsgirl chain;
  • Australian Hospital Care Limited: advising on a major corporate reconstruction, ASX listing, and two key public private partnership transactions;
  • Harris Scarfe: acting for key participants in a management buyout;
  • Trust Bank: acting in the successful sale of the bank’s assets and business to Colonial Mutual; and
  • ACP Magazines, ninemsn and 3P Learning: in relation to the acquisition of a 50 per cent interest by ACP Magazines and ninemsn in 3P Learning, and the subsequent sale of that interest to a US venture capital firm.

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