Baker McKenzie acted as Australian and US legal adviser to biotechnology company Benitec Biopharma Limited on a renounceable entitlement offer to existing shareholders and a placement of American Depositary Shares (ADS) to a new US institutional investor.
This transaction represents the first time that an Australian company has concurrently undertaken an entitlement offer of ordinary shares (in Australian dollars) with trading on ASX and a placement of ADSs (in US dollars) for trading on Nasdaq. The pricing of the transactions was effectively the same.
Baker McKenzie lead partner, Andrew Reilly stated: "We were delighted to advise our client, Benitec Biopharma, on these two concurrent capital raisings in the Australian and US markets. Benitec will use the funds raised for general corporate purposes, including funding the progress of Benitec's oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) program towards clinical proof of concept and the continued funding of the scientific development of its other pipeline programs."
Andrew further commented: "With US and Australian capital markets capabilities in our Australian offices, we have a unique ability to advise Australian companies that are listed on Nasdaq in an effective, convenient and cost-efficient manner. As a result, Baker McKenzie represents many Australian companies that are dual listed on ASX and Nasdaq."
Andrew was assisted by senior associate Paul Anderson on the US aspects of the capital raisings. Partner Antony Rumboll and associate Matthew De Cataldo advised on the Australian aspects of the capital raisings.