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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. 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 and M&A lawyers in Chambers Asia Pacific and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific.  He is also recognised by Best Lawyers® International in the area of corporate and M&A law and has been ranked by Doyle’s Guide in the categories of private equity and corporate law.

“Strategic, practical, efficient and very commercial practitioner.”

Client quote, Chambers Asia Pacific

Practice focus

Jonathan’s practice focuses on the following areas:

  • public takeovers, mergers and acquisitions
  • public and private capital raisings, including initial public offerings and ASX listings, shareholder activism and board disputes
  • corporate governance and advisory
  • joint ventures and commercial agreements
  • general commercial and corporate advice, and
  • infrastructure privatisation and major projects, including project documentation and structuring of equity participation.

Experience

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

Corporate and M&A

  • Medical Properties Trust: in relation to its acquisition of $1.25 billion of hospitals from Healthscope
  • Apotex Inc: in relation to the merger of its Australian business with Arrow Pharmaceuticals
  • Nufarm: 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 $611 million strategic investment by Sumitomo Chemical Company, and the defence of the proposed scheme of arrangement by Chinese state-owned company, Sinochem Corporation
  • SEEK: in relation to:
    • its acquisition of a further ownership stake in Online Education Services Pty Ltd
    • its major strategic investment in IDP and its acquisition of Selfcert 
    • its acquisition of the Think Education Group and interests in several overseas employment websites
    • its $206 million acquisition of a 60 per cent stake in Jobs DB, an online employment company with operations throughout South-East Asia
    • the acquisition of an accumulated stake in the leading South-East Asian employment website, JobStreet
  • carsales.com: in relation to: 
    • its acquisition of DeMotores, the operator of automotive classified websites in Argentina, Colombia and Chile
    • 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
    • its acquisition of a 49.9 per cent interest in the on-line assets of SK Encar, South Korea’s leading automotive trading business
  • 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
  • Punthill: in relation to the sale of the Punthill Apartment Hotels business to Sydney based boutique hotel operator, Veriu
  • Trawalla Group: in relation to:
    • the establishment of Stonehorn Global Partners and the proposed launch of the Stonehorn Asia Equity Fund
    • its acquisition of the landmark Parliament Square site in Hobart, Tasmania
  • IDP Education: in relation to the acquisition of Hotcourses, a digital marketing and online student recruitment company, for £34.9 million (A$56 million)
  • 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$338.4 million privatisation ($1.9 billion 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: in relation to:
    • the sale of its pharmaceutical brands Gold Cross, David Craig and Skin Basics to iNova Pharmaceuticals
    • 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 relation to the sale of Voyager Travel Corporation to ATP Instone, a leading UK travel company
  • Kidspot: in relation to its sale to Australian media giant, News Limited
  • VISY Industries: in relation to its multi-jurisdictional $850 million acquisition of Southcorp’s packaging business
  • Breville Group: in relation to the $300 million takeover offer from GUD Holdings Limited
  • Ninemsn: in relation to 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
  • Sussan Group: in relation to its successful acquisition of the Sportsgirl chain
  • Harris Scarfe: acting for key participants in a management buyout
  • Trust Bank: in relation to 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.

Corporate finance

  • Nufarm: in relation to its $900 million refinancing in 2010
  • Slater & Gordon: in relation to the renegotiation of its $168 million debt facilities for the financing of its acquisition of United Kingdom (UK) law firm, Russell Jones & Walker
  • Pratt Group: in relation to the group’s project financing of a $400 million paper mill at Tumut, NSW, and in several global refinancing transactions, and
  • Rathbone Wine Group: in relation it its restructure and recapitalisation in 2014

Capital markets

  • Carsales.com: acting on its IPO and listing on the ASX
  • 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
    • its $64 million capital raising, which involved a fully underwritten $59 million placement and a non-underwritten $5 million share purchase plan to eligible existing shareholders
  • SEEK: in relation to:
    • its listing on the ASX
    • its $100 million placement and subsequent share purchase plan and top-up offer in 2010
  • Nufarm: in relation to:
    • its $303 million equity raising to provide capital for future projects and acquisition opportunities
    • its $97.5 million placement of preference securities to existing shareholder and strategic business partner, Sumitomo Chemical Company Limited
    • its $251 million renounceable rights issue in 2010, its $300 million placement and subsequent share purchase plan in 2009, and its $251 million issue of hybrid securities and dual quotation on ASX and NZDX in 2006
    • its offering of senior unsecured notes to qualified institutional buyers in the United States
  • VISY Property Group: in relation to a successful bid to secure long-term financing of $150 million through a private placement of notes in the US
  • Evantage Group Holdings: in relation to its listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange
  • Fernz Corporation Limited: in relation to the group’s successful migration from New Zealand to Australia and subsequent listing on the ASX as Nufarm Limited, and
  • Australian Hospital Care Limited: in relation to a major corporate reconstruction, ASX listing, and two key public private partnership transactions.

Shareholder activism

  • 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.

Directorships & memberships

Jonathan is a:

  • member of the advisory board of Pacific Group of Companies
  • chair of Allplay Sports, and
  • director of Giant Steps Melbourne.

Awards & recognition

Jonathan is recognised as a leading lawyer by various international guides to lawyers and law firms, including:
  • Best Lawyers® International: commercial law, corporate law, equity capital markets law and mergers & acquisition law
  • Chambers Asia Pacific: corporate and M&A
  • Doyle’s Guide: corporate and commercial, and
  • Legal 500 Asia Pacific: capital markets and corporate and M&A.

Contact Jonathan Wenig

Recognition & publications

Take a look at Insights & News articles referencing Jonathan Wenig