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Michael Sage



P+64 9 977 5006

M+64 21 664 993

Michael Sage

Mike is a partner in the firm's corporate and commercial group. He is one of New Zealand's most experienced corporate/commercial lawyers, with more than 30 years at partner level, advising a wide range of clients - particularly in the infrastructure and technology sectors.

Mike is a specialist in the areas of capital raising, business structuring, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances/joint ventures and corporate governance.

In the infrastructure sector, Mike is a lead adviser on major projects including energy generation and distribution, transport, telecommunications, water/wastewater, airports, solid waste and urban redevelopment. He is an expert in large-scale, long-term infrastructure funding/development and management.

In the technology sector, Mike advises on commercialisation and licensing of IP, major IT outsourcing contracts, technology procurement, fibre leasing/IRU contracts, regulatory issues and data protection/use. His clients include telcos, life sciences companies, financial institutions and cloud-based solution providers. Mike has extensive experience in buying and selling businesses and companies, and in the establishment of joint ventures, public/private partnerships and bespoke commercial contracts. He has a particular interest in commercialising and licensing technology and in business structuring/capital raising for early to mid-stage companies.

  • Chambers Asia-Pacific Technology, Media & Telecommunications 2023 - Leading Lawyer (Senior Statespeople)
  • The International Who's Who Legal - Data Information Technology 2021 - Global Leader

Examples of Work

  • Lodestone Energy - funding and development of 5 grid‑scale solar farms (approx $300 million)
  • Kordia/Tait Communications - joint venture to build/operate Land Mobile Radio portion of New Zealand Government's $1.4 billion Public Safety Network
  • Advising a leading NZ bank on establishment of new lending platforms and customer services
  • Transpower - acquisition of new technology to upgrade inter–island HVDC link (approximately $700 million project); grid service contracts for approx $2 billion of opex/capex over 10 year period
  • NZ Carbon Farming - sale of 25% stake in carbon forestry portfolio
  • Transdev - contracts to operate metro passenger rail services in Auckland/Wellington; acquisitions of Mana Coach Services/Howick & Eastern Buses
  • Gisborne District Council - long‑term airport lease/management agreement
  • Advising on development of greenfields infant milk formula manufacturing operation and joint venture with PRC distributor
  • Vocus Communications - takeover offer, by ASX–listed Vocus, to acquire FX Networks for approximately $116 million; advice on fibre optic network access arrangements
  • DB Breweries - corporate advisory work including acquisition of Tuatara Brewing Company; establishment of Barworks joint venture; sale of Liquorland; purchase of Redwood Cellars
  • Union MedTech - acquisition of Rex Bionics (developer of robotic exoskeletons) and UK capital raising/listing on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market
  • Kordia - purchase and subsequent sale of Orcon (internet service provider); purchase of Aura Information Security; trans–Tasman fibre optic cable project
  • Electricity - Co–generation/embedded generation/transmission/windfarm projects/ for Northpower/Counties Energy
  • Methven - IPO; acquisition of Deva Tap Company (UK) and associated rights issue/institutional placement; acquisition of Heshan Sanitary (Chinese manufacturing business)
  • Veolia Water - PPP: 50 year franchise agreement with (now) Watercare to operate water/wastewater systems
  • Adherium - sale of medical device company as part of capital raising on ASX
  • Antipodean Biotechnology - capital raising, establishment of US operations, and phase II of clinical trials agreements for treatment of Parkinson's disease
  • Royal & Sun Alliance/Vero - acquisitions of Royal Insurance, Tyndall, Commercial Union General Insurance, AMP Insurance (including amalgamation of AA–GIO and AA Insurance) and Autosure
  • Promina - $2.1 billion IPO
  • Auckland Council - PPP: infrastructure funding and works contracts for long-term development of Westgate Town Centre
  • SmartCo - establishment of $300 million smart metering joint venture between electricity lines companies

Other Credentials

  • An Introduction to E-Commerce Law in New Zealand - Co-author