DLA Piper advises Webjet on purchase of Middle East headquartered Destinations of the World

DLA Piper has advised Australian online travel business Webjet Limited on its US$ 173 million purchase of UAE based Destinations of the World and related fully underwritten entitlement offer. Destinations of the World was sold by Abu Dhabi based private equity fund Gulf Capital.

The multi-jurisdictional deal involved DLA Piper offices across Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, showcasing the strength of the firm in global M&A, private equity and capital markets.  It builds on DLA Piper's similar role advising Webjet on its $350 million acquisition of London based JacTravel and related capital raising in 2017.

DLA Piper partner Joel Cox said it was exciting to work with Webjet which was doing transformative M&A on a truly global scale.

“The transaction continues Webjet's strategic focus on growing its B2B business globally, with DOTW having operations in more than 30 countries and significantly increasing Webjet's scale in the B2B market in Asia, Europe and the Middle East" he said. 

DLA Piper Regional Head of Corporate, Middle East, Ben Gillespie said "With M&A lawyers in over 40 countries, the multi-jurisdictional nature of the deal is exactly the type of transaction DLA Piper is geared for. It was a pleasure to work as part of a global team to support Webjet on such an important transaction."

DLA Piper Australia Head of ECM David Ryan said: "This is another example of DLA Piper's market leading capability and expertise in M&A and equity capital markets transactions in the technology sector, demonstrated by our track record of recent technology sector transactions.”

The DLA Piper M&A team was led in the UAE by Ben Gillespie (Partner), Natalia Tombs (Legal Consultant) and Niamh Lindsell (Trainee Solicitor); in Australia by Joel Cox (Partner), James McCarthy (Senior Associate), Tara Alexandra (Solicitor) and Beau Paterson (Graduate Solicitor); in Kuwait by Kashif Syed (Senior Legal Consultant); in Saudi Arabia by Leopold Zentner (Legal Director); in China by Stewart Wang (Partner) and Frank Chen (Associate); and in Romania, by Cristina Bucur.

The DLA Piper ECM team advising on the entitlement offer was led by David Ryan (Partner), Elliot Cheung (Senior Associate) and Claudia McEwen (Solicitor).

Evercore acted as lead financial advisor to Webjet, while Credit Suisse and UBS acted as Webjet's joint financial advisors.  Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rob Cant, Tom Lawless, Craig Abbot and Maha Osman) advised DOTW and Gulf Capital. Ashurst (Sarah Dulhunty, Sharon Liu and Lauren Garrett) acted as underwriters counsel. 

The deal comes on the back of DLA Piper advising a range of ASX listed growth companies on a string of similar complex multi-national deals, including advising Reece Plumbing on its acquisition of U.S. distributor MORSCO for $1.44 billion and Link Market Services on its acquisition of European based Capita Asset Services for $1.49 billion.