Complex Financing Creates a World Leader and Demonstrates Law Firm’s Cross-border Capabilities

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    Squire Patton Boggs has advised Appen Limited (Appen) ASX: APX in relation to debt financing associated with its acquisition of Leapforce, Inc. and RaterLabs, Inc. (Leapforce).

    Appen is a global leader in the development of high-quality, human-annotated datasets for machine learning and artificial intelligence. Leapforce, based in California, specialises in search relevance with a highly automated, proprietary, end-to-end technology platform. The acquisition adds scale and scope to Appen and enables greater participation in the dynamic and high-growth artificial intelligence market.

    The financing funded the balance of the purchase price and provides capacity for ongoing growth initiatives. The financing package comprised an acquisition facility and a multi-option working capital facility, as well as a platform to meet Appen’s funding needs in the future.

    Hai-Dang Nguyen, a partner in our Sydney office, led a global team of lawyers comprising associate Hugh Pilkington and others in Sydney, as well as US colleagues Patrick Fields and Denis Oyakawa (Los Angeles), Guy Guinn (Ohio) and Larry Schiffer and Jill Davidson (New York).

    Coordinating a geographically diverse team was not the only challenge that the transaction raised, according to Nguyen. “The financing arrangements were complex, comprising syndicated debt facilities, a fully underwritten placement, a share purchase plan and a share issue to the Leapforce vendors.”

    “The transaction was completed within a very tight timeframe. Given the various sources of funding for the acquisition, the closing mechanics required a great deal of planning and coordination among the parties involved. This transaction was a great opportunity for us to showcase our cross-border financing capabilities.”

    “We are delighted to have assisted Appen with the financing for this strategic acquisition, which establishes it as the world’s leading provider of search relevance services. We would like to congratulate Appen on the successful completion of this transaction and are proud to have been given the opportunity to play a part in its exciting growth.”

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