Herbert Smith Freehills advise Japan’s Gulliver on investment in Western Australian car dealership network

Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Japanese automotive group Gulliver International Co Ltd on its A$120 (US$90) million acquisition of a majority shareholding in the DVG Automotive Group, Western Australia’s second largest automotive dealership group.

Partners Damien Roberts (Tokyo) and Ian Williams (Australia) led their respective ends of the firm’s preeminent Japan-Australia team to complete the transaction for Gulliver – both are fluent in Japanese and provide an experienced bridge on Japan-Australia transactions for this client and many others in Japan.

Ian is a Vice-President of the Australia Japan Business Cooperation Committee, and has divided his time between Australia and Japan for more than 20 years. Australian national Damien has been based in Tokyo since 2011 and regularly advises Japanese companies on Australian and cross-border deals.

“Gulliver has an outstanding business model in car sales distribution, and has already expanded its business to the US, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.” said Damien.

“As this was the company’s first venture into Australia, Gulliver was reassured by our team’s ability to advise them from Tokyo to Perth, in their own language, with genuine market expertise, and to work seamlessly with their other advisers to help close the deal.”

Damien and Ian were assisted by senior associate Claire Jelbart and associate Elisa Hayashi in Tokyo, and by partner Simon Reed, senior associate Sam Kings and graduate James Nagle in Perth.


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