Reuben Woods is a leading corporate M&A partner specialising in private equity, venture capital and early stage companies, equity capital markets and restructuring and insolvency. As expected for a DLA Piper partner, Reuben is very experienced in advising on complicated multi-jurisdictional cross-border deals. He has clients and expertise in the tech sector, food and beverage, media, hospitality and leisure, insurance, aged care and retail.
Reuben has been consistently ranked as a leading individual in Chambers and has a reputation for cutting through deals, with clients describing him as an 'efficient, technically very sound, very commercially astute partner who gets things moving and gets transactions done.'
Reuben is from Ngāi Tahu.
- Advised Seequent and Accel-KKR on the sale of the Seequent group to Bentley Systems (Nasdaq: BSY) for ~NZ$1.5 billion. Seequent is an NZ founded and head-quartered global leader in software for geological and geophysical modelling, geotech stability and geodata management, visibility and collaboration. Managing Director at AKKR said in relation to this deal: “"Reuben and the entire DLA Piper team have been invaluable partners throughout our investment in Seequent. DLA Piper’s global footprint, coupled with technically-excellent and commercially-astute advice, helped make this large, complex, multi-jurisdictional process go very smoothly. They have been great advisors and we look forward to working with them in the future." This transaction was named Buyouts Magazine International Deal of the Year, 2021 – the first NZ private equity transaction to receive such recognition in North America.
- Advised Accel-KKR’s emerging buyout fund on the acquisition of the Unimarket group, an NZ founded and headquartered eProcurement solution.
- Advised Discovery Inc. on its agreement to purchase MediaWorks' TV business, comprising of: free-to-air channels, Three, Bravo, Three+1, Bravo+1, The Edge TV and The Breeze TV; streaming service ThreeNow; and multi-platform news and current affairs service Newshub. This deal has been named a finalist for M&A Deal of the Year in the 2021 NZ Lawyer Law Awards.
- Advised Five V Capital, an Australian private equity firm, on its acquisition of Totara Learning Solutions Limited. Totara operates a world leading open enterprise Learning Management System (LMS).
- Advised Accel-KKR and its portfolio company Seequent on bolt-on acquisitions of Geosoft (a geoscience software company headquartered in Canada) and Geoslope (another Canadian based geotechnical analysis software company).
- Advised Accel-KKR, a leading Silicon Valley technology focused private equity firm, on its acquisition of Seequent Limited from Pencarrow and founders / management. Seequent (formerly ARANZ Geo), head-quartered in Christchurch, is a world leader in visual data science, with 13 offices around the world and its technology in use in over 90 countries. This transaction won the 2019 INFINZ M&A Transaction Deal of the Year, won the 2019 New Zealand Private Equity investment of the year up to $150m, and was also a finalist for Consumer, Media and Tech Deal of the Year at the 2019 New Zealand Law Awards.
- Advised Discovery Communications on its acquisition of Top TV Limited, operating Choice TV and HGTV.
- Advised the shareholders of Birthcare Holdings Limited on the sale of a majority stake to Acurity Health Group Limited (a Pacific Equity Partners portfolio group)
- Advised Foodstuffs North Island Limited on its acquisition of the business and assets of Leigh Fisheries Limited and Lee Bait Limited. The ‘Lee Fish’ is a brand synonymous with high-quality seafood and sustainable fishing practices. It is a kaitiaki in the industry with a strong environmental ethos and a world-class brand.
- Advised Foodstuffs North Island on its subscription for a minority stake in Eat My Lunch Limited, a catering company that operates a "Buy One Give One" model where, for every lunch or dinner that it sells, it donates a lunch to a New Zealand child in need. The transaction included the structuring of various food supply, distribution and other commercial arrangements.
- Advised Jetts Fitness New Zealand (one of NZ’s largest fitness groups) on its sale to Quadrant Private Equity. This transaction was structured as an asset deal with 60 different sellers, including all of the Jetts Fitness' gym businesses in NZ, the NZ master franchisee, and the related goods and services supplier entities.
- Advised Coveris Holdings S.A. (a Sun Capital Partners, Inc entity) on its acquisition of the Elldex Packaging Group from Hellaby Holdings Limited (a NZX listed entity) for approximately $30 million. The Elldex Packaging Group is a manufacturer and supplier of flexible packaging products. The transaction involved multiple jurisdictions with target group entities in New Zealand and Australia, and the buyer financed out of Luxembourg.
- Advised Pressure Technologies plc, an entity listed on the London stock exchange AIM, on the acquisition of the assets of Greenlane Biogas group located in New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, South Africa and elsewhere for up to $25 million.
- Advised Vista Group International Limited on aspects of its initial public offering and listing on the NZX and ASX. Also advised on a number of acquisitions financed by the capital raised from the IPO, including the acquisition of Virtual Concepts Limited (another software company) for up to approximately $20.6 million.
- Acted for the Foodstuffs Co-operatives on the sale of Bell Tea & Coffee Company Limited. The sale involved the renegotiation of an important exclusive distribution agreement, ongoing trading terms between the target and the sellers, the sale and lease back of a number of properties, and the complications of a partial management buyout.
- Advised Antons Seafoods Group on the sale of fishing quota, freehold properties and a fish processing plant to Aotearoa Fisheries and Sealord. The sale involved two separate sale and purchase agreements independently negotiated.
- Advised on the sale of all of the shares in Media Transfer Services Limited (trading as BankLink) and Australian entity BankLink Pty Limited to MYOB Finance NZ Limited, a Bain Capital entity, for $136 million. The transaction required a group restructure to carve-out the UK Business, which was retained by one of the Sellers. It also involved multi-jurisdictional negotiations between parties in New Zealand, Australia and Hong-Kong.
- Acted for Metlifecare Limited (an NZSX listed company) on the sale of the Oakwoods retirement village in Nelson to a syndicate of investors. The transaction included the sale of business assets and real property.
- Reuben has been ranked as a leading Corporate / Commercial lawyer in the Chambers Asia-Pacific rankings for almost a decade. Chambers notes that Reuben’s “"pragmatism and dedication make him a popular choice among clients".
- Reuben is ranked as a 'Leading Individual' in the Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2021 rankings for Corporate and M&A.
- In 2021, Reuben was named in NZ Lawyer’s inaugural Most Influential Lawyers list, one of only three named in the Business category recognising his significant impact and presence in the New Zealand business community.
- Reuben was listed on the NZ Lawyer Hot List 2016, which seeks to profile lawyers who have stood out among their peers.
- Reuben started with DLA Piper in 1996. He worked as a corporate solicitor at a leading law firm in the United Kingdom for four years, returning to DLA Piper in March 2005.
Memberships And Affiliations
- New Zealand Law Society
- Institute of Directors
- International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Professionals