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Geoff Carter

Geoff is a partner in our Competition & Regulatory and Corporate groups, and practises competition law with a commercial focus. His areas of expertise include merger clearances, authorisations and notifications, access issues, economic regulation, restrictive trade practices and consumer protection advice. He has extensive experience and knowledge of utility regulation in Australia, including cross ownership and licensing regimes. He also regularly represents clients in dealings with the ACCC and other regulators.

Geoff's commercial work includes advising on commercial transactions and arrangements, mergers and acquisitions and general contractual advice. He has extensive experience in major government sales and privatisation projects, acting for both government and bidders.

He has advised and analysed competition issues across a range of diverse industry sectors including: financial services, telecommunications, aviation, ports, energy, gambling, agribusiness, health services, manufacturing and infrastructure.

Geoff was named one of the world's top 40 young competition lawyers in the Global Competition Review's 40 under 40 (4th edition), published in March 2012.

Toll / Sea Swift Merger Authorisation

Advised Toll Holdings Limited on competition issues relating to the sale of its coastal and community shipping in the Northern Territory and Far North Queensland to Sea Swift, including in relation to ACCC clearance process and the subsequent application for merger authorisation from the Australian Competition Tribunal. This landmark matter raised some of the most novel and complex competition issues of an Australian merger in recent times and resulted in a successful commercial outcome for two premier freight operators.

A$530 million takeover of Warrnambool Cheese & Butter by Saputo Inc

Advised Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Holdings Limited (WCB) in responding to competing takeover offers from Bega Cheese (hostile), Saputo (recommended) and Murray Goulburn (unsolicited). This was one of the most vigorous auctions for control in recent Australian Corporate history, with a total of 9 bids made by the three bidders. Saputo's winning bid valued Warrnambool at approximately A$530m.

Port Capacity Project

Advised the Port of Melbourne Corporation on the procurement and transactional aspects of Melbourne's Port Capacity Project. The Port Capacity project will enable the port to meet increasing trade demand and protect the economic future of one of Australia's leading freight gateways.

Parmalat acquisition of Longwarry Food Park

Advised Parmalat Australia Pty Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of Parmalat S.p.A., which is listed on the Italian stock exchange) and the Lactalis Group (majority shareholder in Parmalat S.p.A.) in relation to its acquisition of 100% of the Longwarry Food Park dairy business. We assisted Parmalat and Lactalis with legal due diligence, negotiations of the transaction documents (including W&I policy) and completion of the transaction. The acquisition further strengthens Parmalat's position in the Australian dairy market.