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Matheson wins five accolades in Finance Dublin’s 2014 awards

AUTHOR(S): Christian Donagh, Dualta Counihan, Fergus Bolster, George Brady, Gerry Thornton, Pat English, Patrick Spicer, Tim Scanlon, John Ryan, Shane Hogan
PRACTICE AREA GROUP: Asset Management and Investment Funds, Corporate, Structured Finance and Securitisation, Tax
DATE: 28.03.2014

Matheson has won five awards in Finance Dublin’s Deals of the Year Awards 2014. The awards were given for transactions involving a broad cross-section of Matheson’s practice areas, including corporate, investment funds and asset management, tax and structured finance.

Liam Quirke, Managing Partner at Matheson, said, “These awards are a further testament to our firm's pre-eminent capability in financial services and international corporate transactions. Our relentless focus on identifying and serving the Irish legal needs of international companies and financial institutions doing business in and through Ireland means that we can provide such companies with a legal offering which is unrivalled in Ireland.  I congratulate my many colleagues for their outstanding and often innovative work on these five award-winning deals.”

Matheson partners pictured left to right: Christian Donagh, Head of Derivatives, Éanna Mellett, Corporate, Tim Scanlon, Head of the Financial Institutions Group and George Brady, Corporate.

The award-winning deals Matheson advised on are:

The €1.3 billion Sale of Irish Life to Great-West Lifeco

Matheson advised the Irish Minister for Finance on the €1.3 billion sale of the country's biggest life and pensions provider Irish Life to Canada Life’s parent, Great-West Lifeco. Tim Scanlon, head of Matheson’s Financial Institutions Group, said, “The sale, which has been described as a ‘historic transaction’ by the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, demonstrates increasing confidence among international investors about investing in Ireland.”

Éanna Mellett, a partner in Matheson’s Corporate Department, said, “This deal was unique in that it was the first time a State owned financial institution was returned fully to private ownership since the beginning of the financial crisis."

Actavis’ $8.5 billion acquisition of Warner Chilcott

Matheson advised the US pharmaceutical firm Actavis on its $8.5 billion acquisition of Dublin-based Warner Chilcott, which completed on 1 October 2013. The Matheson team was led by Patrick Spicer, George Brady, Pat English and Fergus Bolster with tax advice from John Ryan and Shane Hogan.

Patrick Spicer said: “This was not only the largest M&A transaction to take place in Ireland in 2013, but it was also one of the top-10 European deals of the year. The $8.5 billion deal involved the creation of an Irish company, Actavis plc, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is a leading global pharmaceutical company with some $11 billion pro forma combined annual 2013 revenue – making it the third-largest specialty pharmaceutical business in the US.”

BlackRock’s AIFMD authorisation

Matheson advised BlackRock in its application for Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (“AIFMD”) authorisation. The authorisation enables BlackRock to avail of a pan-European passport to market its Irish alternative investment funds under the AIFMD. This was the first AIFMD authorisation not only in Ireland, but also in Europe.

Dualta Counihan, a partner in Matheson’s Asset Management and Investment Funds Group, said, “BlackRock’s decision to seek authorisation in Ireland as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager is a ringing endorsement of the Irish funds industry and clear recognition of its position as the number one hedge fund service centre in the world. BlackRock’s decision to engage Matheson as its legal advisor in applying for AIFMD authorisation reflects Matheson’s position as the number one ranked funds practice in Ireland, acting for 27% of Irish domiciled investment funds by asset under management as at 30 June 2013.”

$1 billion Trade MAPS securitisation

Matheson recently advised on the issuance of the Trade MAPS Series 2013-1 Notes, a first of its kind multi-bank, multi-jurisdiction trade finance asset securitisation relating to import and export activities, consisting of 7,336 loans from 175 obligors.

Christian Donagh, head of the Matheson’s Derivatives practice, said, “This innovative deal demonstrates that Ireland is a leading jurisdiction through which securitisation transactions can be structured.” Gerry Thornton, a partner in Matheson’s Tax practice, said, “Ireland’s leading infrastructure within the structured finance industry saw it chosen not only as the jurisdiction in which the funding entity, Trade MAPS 1 Limited, was incorporated, but also as the only European jurisdiction in which Asset Purchasing Entities were incorporated.”

Independent News & Media Restructuring

Matheson also acted for J&E Davy, the bookrunner and underwriter, in relation to the capital raising by Independent News & Media as part of this significant restructuring. Alan Chiswick, a partner in Matheson’s Corporate and Commercial Department, said, “The INM debt restructuring was a complex and challenging transaction and its completion is a key milestone in the company’s history.”


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