Mark Saunders

Mark Saunders | Corporate Lawyer | Arthur Cox | Dublin, Ireland


Mark has a broad practice.  He:

  • advises on public and private M&A transactions, including private equity and joint venture matters;
  • frequently acts on equity and debt capital markets transactions;
  • has extensive experience advising issuers, arrangers and sponsors on a range of financing matters, including leveraged / acquisition financing transactions;
  • has led on many of the most significant financial and corporate restructurings in the Irish market;
  • regularly advises on Irish State-related matters, including acting for a range of public sector bodies and commercial semi-State enterprises; and
  • advises boards on corporate governance and strategic matters.

Mark headed up the firm’s London office for a number of years and has also served on the firm’s Management Group. He is member of the firm’s Financial Institutions Group and its Restructuring Group and is the firm’s country partner for Italy.

Prior to joining Arthur Cox, Mark worked for a leading international law firm in London and Hong Kong.


Transactions that Mark has advised on include the following:

  • Private M&A / JVs: acted for Centrica plc on the acquisition by way of privatisation of Bord Gáis Energy; for American Express on the establishment of its global business travel joint venture with an investor group led by Certares; for General Electric on its $16.9 billion acquisition of Alstom’s thermal, renewables and grid businesses; for Becton Dickinson on its acquisition of GenCell Biosystems; for Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the US$880 million sale to Julius Baer Group of BAML’s non-US wealth-management operations; for a number of major international financial institutions on the establishment and transfer of operations to Ireland, various intra-group restructurings and the establishment of financial services joint ventures; and for Musgrave Group plc on the sale of its Budgens and Londis businesses to Booker Group plc;
  • Public takeovers / private equity: acted for Brookfield Asset Management on its acquisition of a majority stake in Imagine Communications, a broadband infrastructure provider; acted for Oaktree Capital on its acquisition of The Square Shopping Centre from NAMA; for Hanover Investors on its public takeover of Escher Group plc; for Madison Dearborn Partners on its public takeover of the Smurfit group (Smurfit Kappa); for Bank of Ireland on its proposed merger with Abbey National; for DIC Private Equity on its acquisition of Alliance Medical; for Gold Fields S.A. on its public takeover of Glencar Mining plc; for British Telecommunications plc on its public takeover of Esat Telecom plc; for Musgrave Group on its public takeover of Budgens plc; and for Balderton Capital on the public takeover of Alpyhra Group plc;
  • ECM: acted for Green REIT plc on its IPO on the main markets of the Irish and London stock exchanges; for Aer Lingus on its IPO on the main markets of the Irish and London stock exchanges; for UBS and Merrill Lynch as underwriters to Standard Life on its demutualisation and listing; and for Green REIT plc on its €400 million placing and open offer;
  • Debt capital markets / financing transactions: acted for daa plc (formerly Dublin Airport Authority plc) on its financing arrangements generally, including its €600m and €400m bond issues and an associated liability management exercise; led the advisory team on multiple securitisations, including acting for the issuer on Ireland’s first building society mortgage securitisation and on Ireland’s first whole business securitisation; acted for Musgrave Group plc and Grafton Group plc on various US private placements; and advised on multiple leveraged / acquisition financing transactions, both for sponsors and arrangers;
  • Restructurings: acted for Chartered Land on its financial and corporate restructuring, including the sale of Dundrum Town Centre, Ireland’s largest shopping centre; for Musgrave Group plc on the acquisition of the Superquinn business, Ireland’s first major pre-pack receivership sale; for the British government / UK Treasury on the Northern Rock good bank / bad bank restructuring; and for the senior creditor groups on the €1.4 billion restructuring of the Quinn group, the €2.7 billion Actavis group restructuring, the £600 million Alliance Medical group restructuring and the restructuring of the EMPG group; and
  • Irish State-related matters and commercial semi-State enterprises: acted for the Irish government on Ireland’s bid to host Rugby World Cup 2023; for the Department of Finance, the National Treasury Management Agency and the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) on issues relating to the banking crisis, including the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank; the demutualisation and nationalisation of Irish Nationwide Building Society and EBS Building Society; and  the establishment of NAMA and its acquisition of €74 billion of loans from a number of participating institutions; for daa plc on various M&A and joint venture transactions in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America; and for Shannon Airport Authority on the financing of its runway upgrade programme.