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K&L Gates Advises on AU$190 Million Global Venture Capital Fund

22 April 2024

Global law firm K&L Gates has acted as fund counsel in connection with the establishment of the W23 Global Fund, LP (W23 Global), a global grocery retail venture capital fund.

With capital commitments totaling AU$190 million (US$125 million), W23 Global is backed by global grocery retailers Woolworths Group (Australia and New Zealand), Tesco (UK, Ireland and Europe), Empire Company Limited/Sobeys Inc. (Canada), Shoprite Group (Africa) and Ahold Delhaize (US, Europe and Indonesia). Each retailer is an equal partner in W23 Global and will jointly establish an investment committee comprising their CEOs.

The fund will be deployed over the next five years. Its aim is to invest in innovative start-ups and scale-ups and give them access to potential faster pathways to global scale, while providing its investors with access to transformative innovation in grocery and sustainability across the globe. 

K&L Gates' global platform and industry experience were key to this transaction in being able to bring together its Asset Management and Investment Funds (AMIF) and Emerging Growth/Venture Capital teams to advise on this important matter. The deal team advised on fund formation issues including negotiating the various fund documents between the investors, as well as complex financial regulatory, tax, and employment law matters.

The multi-office team that advised was led by London and Sydney-based AMIF partners, Daniel Greenaway (London) and Kane Barnett (Sydney) together with Sydney-based Corporate partner Daniel Atkin. They were supported by London-based AIMF lawyer Laura Price and Sydney-based AMIF lawyer Bernard Sia. Additional global team support consisted of London-based AMIF partner Philip Morgan and Tax partner Giles Bavister and Sydney-based Employment partner Stephen Hardy and lawyer Jocelyn Leung.

Shelley Zeaiter, COO for W23 Global said: "W23 Global is a potentially game-changing international VC fund with a powerful proposition for both our investors and portfolio companies. The team at K&L Gates across the globe operated seamlessly and showed their expertise in helping to bring W23 Global to fruition in a tight timeframe." 

K&L Gates' Greenaway and Barnett stated: "It's been a privilege to assist W23 Global and the investors to establish this global fund. This transaction further demonstrates our strength in establishing private funds, particularly in venture capital, and the degree of collaboration between our offices and practice groups."

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals.

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