Weil scoops instruction from APN News & Media purchasers

Rising private equity star Jonathan Wood is leading on his biggest deal since joining Weil Gotshal & Manges from Lovells last year.

Wood, who joined Weil with Marco Compagnoni from Lovells in February 2006, is advising on the A$1.87bn (£740m) takeover of APN News & Media.

Wood is leading the team advising affiliated private equity groups Carlyle Group and Providence Equity Partners.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is acting for Independent News & Media (INM), the third member of the bidding consortium. London-based partners David Sonter and Edward Braham are leading the Freshfields team. Australian firm Allens Arthur Robinson is advising the bidders on the corporate aspects of the transaction, led by partner Ian McGill. Corrs Chambers Westgarth is acting on all other Australian matters. The team at Corrs is headed by partner Richard Lewis.

Blake Dawson Waldron is advising APN, led by partner Phillip Maxwell.

INM already owns 42 per cent of APN. The deal was agreed after the bidders raised their offer for the remaining 58 per cent by 5c (2p) a share to A$6.10 (£2.42). Key to the success of the deal are major shareholders Perpetual and Maple-Brown Abbott, which control a combined stake of nearly 23 per cent of the company.

Although the board has recommended the offer, it has been made through a scheme of arrangement and is still subject to shareholder approval.

APN publishes 23 daily and more than 100 non-daily newspapers across Australia and New Zealand and is also the largest radio broadcaster in Australia.