Ed Paton

Partner & Head of SE Asia Practice

Qualifications: LLB, BA (Hons)

Industries

Practices

Ed’s practice covers private mergers & acquisitions (both local and international), with particular specialism in mid-market deals in Australia, distressed M&A and inbound international transactions. Ed has significant experience running large projects including company establishment, corporate restructures and succession for large family groups.

Ed has advised on over 200 M&A transactions including acting for buyers and sellers across a range of sectors in share sales, business & asset sales, due diligence projects, private equity MBO transactions and venture capital transactions. His clients include, public and private companies, local and international businesses, professional services firms, administrators and other insolvency professionals

Ed has extensive industry expertise in Manufacturing, Food & Beverage, Retail, Automotive, Bus Transport, Agribusiness, Infrastructure, Healthcare, Aged Care & Retirement living, Professional Services, Financial Services, and Insurance, and has particular sector expertise in Private Equity & Venture Capital, Insolvency and Family business.

Ed is a non-executive director of a third generation family manufacturing business in the automotive, industrial and defence sectors, with operations in Australia and Thailand. He served for four years on the Victorian Committee of Family Business Australia and three years as Chairman of the FBA advisor executive committee. He has also served on the advisory committee for a family owned national retail clothing chain.

Ed is recommended in The Best Lawyers in Australia for commercial law, corporate law, and M&A law. He is listed as a recommended corporate and M&A lawyer in Legal 500 and has been listed Doyle’s Guide to the Australia Legal Profession as a private equity and capital markets lawyer in Victoria.

Ed leads the firm’s South East Asia desk, co-manages our international law firm network and sits on the board of Hall & Wilcox.

Experience

  • Advising one of the world’s largest international skincare and cosmetics companies headquartered in South Korea on the acquisition of a significant minority interest in shares in an Australian company with a well-known luxury skincare brand.
  • Advising the owners of Burson Automotive (now Bapcor) on the sale of the successful automotive aftermarket parts business, comprising 94 stores in Australia, to Quadrant Private Equity who later listed the company.
  • Advising Baxters Food Group, an international family owned food manufacturing business headquartered in Fochabers, Scotland with operations in UK, Poland, Canada and Australia. Ed and his team have acted for Baxters in three acquisitions in Australia and the team have provided services across our corporate & commercial, property, employment and banking groups in a range of matters including the acquisition of complementary Australian food manufacturers and associated brands.
  • Acting for the head company of a UK based family owned global publishing business with distribution in USA, Asia and Australia. The project involved the restructure and sale of the Australian business.
  • Providing corporate and commercial advice to Weyco Group Inc in the US in the acquisition of a majority interest in the Australian licensee, Florsheim Australia Pty Ltd. Florsheim was at that time a family controlled company listed on the NYSE.
  • Advising Dyson Group, one of Australia’s largest privately owned passenger bus companies, on the acquisition of 6 other bus operators in 6 years as part of the substantial consolidation that industry has undergone in this country in recent times.
  • Advising a private company, which provides bus and coach transport services, on its multi-million dollar acquisition of a Melbourne-based bus service operator. This included assisting and advising on the structuring, documentation and settlement of this acquisition, and ensuring compliance with the relevant provisions of the Corporations Act.
  • Advising a bus service operator on its multi-million dollar acquisition of government-contracted bus route services, school bus services, and coach charter services from another operator.
  • Acting for a national supplier of power tools, hand tools, and other industrial consumables in two business and asset sale agreements in which the business was sold to a national competitor backed by private equity.
  • Advising a supplier of automotive aftermarket products on its multi-million dollar acquisition of all shares in a leading manufacturer and supplier of Australian designed suspension solutions for commercial vehicles. This involved conducting due diligence on the target business, negotiating the sale contract, and assisting our client and shareholder representatives in South Africa with pre and post-completion matters.
  • Assisting with all aspects of the restructure and sale of the operator of a New Zealand transport company’s Australian lubricants supply business. We assisted with all aspects of the multi-million dollar transaction, including assisting with pre-sale structuring, due diligence, preparation and negotiation of all transaction documents, sale price structuring, and assisting with completion steps and related transactions.
  • Acting for the sellers of a pump and dewatering business to a national competitor backed by private equity.
  • Advising a New Zealand-founded app-based business on its acquisition of two Australian-based laundry and dry-cleaning facilities. We negotiated the terms of sale of the transaction, including the acquisition of important plant and equipment necessary for the expansion into the Australian market.

Recognition

Best Lawyers in Australia 2020 and 2021
Partner – Commercial Law, Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020
Recommended – Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions

Latest thinking

Commercial | 2 Jul 2020

Directors and officers don’t get bitten: amendments to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) are making penalties bite

Under recent changes to the Work Health & Safety Act 2011 (NSW) (WHS Act), directors and officers cannot be insured or indemnified for penalties for WorkSafe breaches. Our Insurance and Corporate teams discuss the implications of these changes for directors and officers (and their companies), insurance providers and brokers.