Damian Reichel Partner

Damian is a corporate lawyer specialising in mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures.

Damian is recognised by both clients (Chambers, Asia Pacific Legal 500) and peers (Best Lawyers) as one of the pre-eminent corporate/M&A lawyers in the country – one of a very small number of M&A lawyers with this degree of consistent recognition – and a leading dealmaker.

In addition to his M&A and corporate restructuring expertise, Damian is sought out by directors and senior executives to advise on directors’ duties, continuous disclosure and other corporate governance considerations, particularly where difficult issues have arisen.

Having established his reputation in M&A through the conception, design and implementation of SingTel’s $20 billion acquisition takeover of Cable & Wireless Optus in 2001 – still the largest successful scrip-based takeover in Australian corporate history – he has continued to guide relationship clients through sensitive and complex corporate transactions.

Experience

General

ConnectEast Group

The $2.7 billion acquisition of ConnectEast Group (the owner of the EastLink toll road in Melbourne) by Horizon Roads, bringing together a consortium of 8 of the largest international pension and sovereign wealth funds from 7 different jurisdictions in a complex consortium arrangement. (Damian was nominated for the award of “Dealmaker of the Year” by Australian Legal Business for his role on this transaction).

Thakral Group

Thakral Group’s defence of a $930 million takeover by Brookfield. Despite Brookfield having acquired a 38% interest in Thakral by purchasing a security over that stake from the Thakral family, Thakral Group’s defence was robust and strategic and ultimately led to Brookfield its offer price by a significant margin to obtain a positive recommendation by the Thakral directors.

Cephalon Inc

Cephalon Inc’s $318 million takeover bid for Arana Therapeutics, its acquisition of a cornerstone investment in ASX-listed ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals Ltd and subsequent successful $225 million takeover bid; and $350 million strategic alliance with ASX listed Mesoblast Ltd.

Envestra

Envestra’s response to the competing takeover proposals by CKI and APA which ultimately led to CKI’s $4.5 billion (including net debt) successful takeover bid.

Independent News & Media Ltd

Advising Independent News & Media Ltd as the major (30%) shareholder in APN News & Media Ltd on its successful move to reconstitute the Board of APN in response to a dilutive rights issue proposed by APN.

Rio Tinto

Advising the financial advisers to Rio Tinto (Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Cazenove, Macquarie Group and Rothschild) in relation to BHP’s proposed US$147 billion all share takeover bid.

Universities Superannuation Scheme of Brisbane Airtrain

The $110 million acquisition by Universities Superannuation Scheme of Brisbane Airtrain by 3 interdependent schemes of arrangement.

Recognition

Career & qualifications

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Sydney
  • Bachelor of Laws (Honours), University of Sydney

Memberships

  • Law Council of Australia, Business Law Section (Corporations Committee)
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Takeovers Legal Liaison Committee)
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors

Insights Read more insight

The latest word on continuous disclosure

On 7 February 2022, the Federal Court handed down the latest Australian first instance decision on continuous disclosure, this time dealing with production guidance provided by Iluka in 2012 – some...

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AusNet Services Limited in the Takeovers Panel: “Hard” Exclusivity and Deal Protection Lore Reform

The Takeovers Panel’s decision in AusNet Services Limited 01 [2021] ATP 9 has drawn comment from a number of quarters. In essence, in AusNet the Panel decided that an eight week exclusivity...

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The new fault element in continuous disclosure s674A and the directors’ duty of care

Overall, the new s674A will not materially alter the approach that directors should adopt in seeking to have the company comply with its obligations and discharge the directors’ own duties. It is...

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