Neil Millar

Partner - Corporate and Commercial

A leading corporate lawyer with over 25 years’ experience in the UK and New Zealand, Neil heads our Auckland corporate practice.  He specialises in private equity and private company mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

Neil’s clients include private business owner-operators, a range of private equity funds, large corporates, SME, and start-up companies.  He has significant experience acting for clients on transactions in the health, education, food and beverage, and privately held business sectors.

Relationship driven, collaborative and commercial, Neil is renowned for getting the most complex deals done.  He advises on all aspects of M&A and private equity, business sales, and commercial and business transactions and contracts, as well as joint ventures and shareholding arrangements.  He also manages complex and often large-scale consolidations and roll up strategies.

In addition to his M&A and private equity practice, Neil advises on practical governance issues, director responsibilities and strategic issues for his clients.  A trusted and pragmatic adviser, he has been asked to assist several of his clients in their own strategic planning workshops and board discussions.  Clients appreciate that “he makes proactive calls to check in on various aspects of our business and is happy to provide feedback on macro factors that may affect us” – Chambers Global 2021.

Neil is also one of New Zealand’s leading warranty and indemnity insurance experts, providing in-market assistance to most of the key insurers and assisting buyers and sellers with advice in connection with policies and claims.

Recognised as a leading Corporate/ Commercial lawyer by many top legal directories including Chambers Asia-Pacific and Global, Neil has been described by clients as an “approachable and affable lawyer” who “provides excellent support and a pragmatic, commercially centred approach” – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2022One client reported that the “high calibre of the advice which we received from him was key to the deal’s success” – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020.  Neil is a skilful negotiator who builds and maintains good relationships with counterparties which ultimately benefit his clients.

Neil has worked both in London at McGrigors and in Philadelphia at Pepper Hamilton LLP.  Clients value his international experience, noting that he brings a global perspective to transactions.

Neil is the author of the firm’s annual M&A Forecast.

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Professional background

Recent work

Sale of Ritchies Transport to KKR

Advising the shareholders of Ritchies Transport on all aspects of the sale of that company to KKR. The deal realises the Ritchies family’s 80-year investment into the iconic transport business.

Sale of MMC to Apex

Advising Pencarrow Private Equity and the other shareholders of MMC on the sale of that business to Apex (having also advised the founders of MMC in respect of Pencarrow’s initial investment and MMC on its acquisition of Aegis from ASB).

Sale of Bay Radiology and Auckland Radiology to Infratil

Separately advising the shareholders of Auckland Radiology on the sale of their business to Infratil and the shareholders of Bay Radiology on the sale of that business (also to Infratil).

Sale of Hamilton Radiology to IMed

Advising the shareholders of Hamilton Radiology on the sale of that business to Australia’s largest radiology business (IMed).

Investments by NZ Equity Partners

Advising NZEP on its investments into HazardCo, Contract Mechanical Services Limited and Traffic Safe Limited.

Trans-Tasman sale of a majority stake in Shine Communications

Advising the shareholders of advertising agency Shine Communications (now rebranded as Bastion Shine) with negotiating the sale of a majority stake in the company to Australian advertising agency Bastion Collective.

Multiple transactions for Habit Health

Advising the shareholders of Habit Health (including New Zealand Equity Partners) on the sale of Habit to UK based private equity firm, Livingbridge. Subsequently advising Livingbridge on Habit’s acquisition of Southern Rehab and EAP Services.

Sale of Bauer Media

Advising Bauer Media on its exit from the New Zealand market following the closure of its New Zealand operations due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Evolve Education

Assisting Evolve Education to purchase 85 early childcare education centres from 39 separate sellers. The project took 12 months and was financed through a $139m equity raise via an IPO on the NZX. We then assisted Evolve to continue to purchase centres post-IPO, taking its total to 125 centres.

Admitted

  • 2008, New Zealand
  • 1997, Scotland

Qualifications

  • LLB (Hons), Dip Lp, University of Edinburgh

Specialisations

  • Capital Markets
  • Corporate and Commercial
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Private Equity
  • Privately Owned Businesses
  • Roll Up and Consolidation Projects
  • Shareholder Agreements
  • Warranty Insurance

Awards

  • Ranked as a leading Corporate/Commercial lawyer, Chambers Asia-Pacific (2013-2022) & Global
  • Ranked as Highly Regarded – M&A and Private Equity, IFLR1000
  • Recognised for Corporate Law and Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Best Lawyers
  • Partner in MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ internationally recognised Tier (The Legal 500 Asia Pacific) and Band 1 (Chambers Asia-Pacific) Corporate team