John Steven
Partner, Melbourne
As one of Australia’s leading strategic merger and acquisition and corporate lawyers, I have been involved in some of the most complex and largest transactions across the national market. I am also the firm's Leader of Knowledge & Agility.

My experience includes numerous transactions including friendly and hostile takeovers, schemes of arrangement, public to private deals, capital raisings and joint ventures. Beyond this I have an extensive general corporate practice, and significant expertise in privatisation of government business enterprises, government infrastructure and tender projects.

I am also a trusted adviser to several boards within listed and private companies and government bodies.

Career highlights

  • Gloucester Coal Limited – acted in relation to the $8 billion merger with Yanzhou Coal Mining Company and its wholly owned subsidiary Yancoal Australia Limited, via a scheme of arrangement
  • Healthscope Limited – assisted in connection with the takeover by private equity bidders The Carlyle Group and TPG Capital, valuing Healthscope at approximately $2.7 billion and involving multiple US private equity bidders
  • Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group Limited – worked on the landmark defence of the $1.35 billion Woolworths/Bruandwo takeover bid, managing multi-party due diligence exercises with counterbidders (including Asian-based private equity bidder Newbridge Capital Asia and Coles Myer/Macquarie Bank) before preparing and negotiating transaction agreements
  • Consolidated Media Holdings Limited – advised on the attempted proposal by Lachlan Murdoch’s private company, Illyria Pty Ltd, and Consolidated Press Holdings Limited to acquire 100 per cent of Consolidated Media Holding Limited via a scheme of arrangement for approximately $3.27 billion
  • Consolidated Media Holdings Limited – acted in relation to Foxtel’s $2 billion takeover of 100 per cent of Austar, when the client owned 25 per cent of Foxtel 
  • Mirvac Limited – assisted with the equity-based takeover of Westpac Office Trust by way of a trust scheme, valuing the real estate investment trust at $415 million. The transaction was one of the year’s largest takeovers in the listed property sector, and involved restructuring more than $1.14 billion in property assets
  • Mirvac Limited – advised on three capital raisings, raising more than $2 billion through accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offers in 15 foreign jurisdictions
  • Norwich Union – worked on the worldwide $50 billion merger with CGU Insurance
  • Docklands Authority – acted in relation to the Melbourne Docklands redevelopment, featuring approximately 220 hectares of land and water, seven kilometres of waterfront and a value of more than $7 billion. The project included the development of Colonial Stadium and additional precincts
  • Advised in relation to more than 250 Australian Securities Exchange listings and in connection with Asian-based listings, including Melco Crown Entertainment Limited’s US$7 billion listing in Hong Kong