Mark is a market leading corporate lawyer specialising in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and private equity transactions. He is also an expert in overseas investment laws, corporate governance advice, shareholder agreements, and employee shareholding arrangements.
Mark is the lead lawyer on a number of New Zealand’s most significant deals. His expertise in complex transactions is sought after by many of New Zealand’s top investment bankers, leading private equity firms, and large local and international corporates. Mark’s blue-chip clients include Next Capital, Westpac, Brookfield Asset Management, MediaWorks, Bupa Group, Ngāi Tahu Corporation, ANZ, Campbell Global, RMS LLC, NZ Bus, Metlifecare, and Southern Cross Hospitals Group.
Valued by clients for his strong industry knowledge and relationships, Mark applies his M&A and private equity skills across multiple sectors. He is especially renowned for his expertise in transactions in the forestry, health/aged care, transport, media, and financial services sectors.
His forestry expertise includes advising on some of New Zealand’s largest forestry transactions, including the $1.2bn acquisition of Nelson Forests by Campbell Global/OneFortyOne Plantations.
In the health and aged care sector, Mark has advised on a string of high profile transactions, including Metlifecare’s acquisition of a portfolio of retirement villages and aged care homes from the Selwyn Foundation, Bupa’s sale of a number of its care homes and retirement villages to Adamantem owned Heritage Lifecare, and the sale of its rehabilitation and dental businesses (to companies owned by PEP and BGH respectively). Mark also advised Southern Cross Hospitals on a number of acquisitions and joint ventures, and Rangatira on its acquisition of Boulcott Hospital from PEP.
Mark provides responsive, proactive, and innovative advice. He has been described by a client as “an exceptionally commercial and deal-driven lawyer who gets the balance between legal advice and deal dynamic just right”. He is also praised for his “wealth of experience in the New Zealand market and a raft of skills, both technical and commercial, which are key to the negotiation of complex transactions" – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2022. One client says: "I trust Mark completely and I know that he thinks about issues deeply” – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020.
Mark was awarded Excellence at the Australasian Law Awards 2020 in the NZ Deal Maker of the Year category for his role leading New Zealand’s most significant transactions in that year. His expertise is also recognised by major legal directories including Chambers Asia-Pacific and Global.
Mark has international experience, having worked at CMS Cameron McKenna in London before joining the firm, and spent time working with a major financial institution in New York.
Advising Next Capital on its acquisition of the NZ Bus business (New Zealand’s largest provider of bus services to local authorities) from Infratil in 2019, and its subsequent sale to Kinetic in 2022, one of New Zealand’s largest ever transactions in the transport sector.
Advising Brookfield and Healthscope New Zealand on the sale of their $550 million plus pathology business, Asia Pacific Healthcare Group, to New Zealand Superannuation Fund and the Canadian Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, each taking a 50% share in one of the most significant transactions of 2020.
Advising Quadrent and Oaktree owned MediaWorks on the sale of MediaWorks TV Limited (operator of THREE, New Zealand’s only major privately owned free to air TV Channel) to Discovery, Inc.
Advising Campbell Global/OneFortyOne Plantations on the acquisition of Nelson Forests Limited from Global Forest Partners for more than $1.2 billion. Nelson Forests (now named OneFortyOne Plantations) is one of the largest forestry owners in New Zealand.
Advising JUCY Group and Calibre as receivers on Jucy Group’s post-Covid restructure, resulting in the pre-pack receivership sale of the business and assets of JUCY Group to Polar Capital – the most significant tourism business restructured as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Advising Westpac New Zealand on the sale of its high net worth financial advisory business to Forsyth Barr and the ongoing relationship between Westpac and Forsyth Barr. This complex transaction was a market first in New Zealand.
Advising major iwi groups Ngāi Tahu and Tainui on their sale of the major bus network operator Go-Bus to Kinetic Holdings.
- Board Member, MinterEllisonRuddWatts
Achievements and recognition
- Leading Individual, Corporate and M&A, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
- Tier 1 team, Corporate and M&A, The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
- Recognised, Corporate/Commercial, Chambers Asia-Pacific
- Band 1 team, Corporate/Commercial, Chambers Asia-Pacific
- Recognised, Corporate/Commercial, Chambers Global
- Notable Practitioner, M&A, Private Equity and Real Estate Acquisitions, IFLR1000
- Recognised, Excellence Award, New Zealand Dealmaker of the Year, Australasian Law Awards