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Multimillion-dollar pipeline sold
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Multimillion-dollar pipeline sold

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Two firms have advised on the multimillion-dollar acquisition of the Darling Downs Pipeline.

Firms: Herbert Smith Freehills (Origin Energy Limited); Ashurst (Jemena Gas Pipeline Holdings Pty Ltd)

Deal: Jemena Gas Pipeline Holdings Ptd (Jemena) has advised Origin Energy Limited (Origin).

Value: $392 million

Area: M&A

Key players: The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partner Rob Merrick, with assistance from partners Peter Davis and Daniel Zador; senior associates Michael Boyce, Lynda Tully, and Maja La Rosa; and solicitor Sophie Mony de Kerloy.

The HSF team worked closely with Daniel Krutik and Jessica Edwards from Origin’s in-house team.

The Ashurst team was led by partner Paul Newman, with assistance from partners Tanya Denning, Murray Wheater, John Briggs, Damian Salsbury, Gavin Scott and Vince Rogers.

Deal significance: The Darling Downs Pipeline is located in Queensland, transporting gas to Origin’s Darling Downs Pipeline Station, Australia Pacific LNG and the domestic market.

Jemena owns and operates electricity, gas and water infrastructure in eastern Australia, including the Queensland Gas Pipeline, the Eastern Gas Pipeline and the Jemena Gas Network. It is owned by State Grid Corporation of China and Singapore Power.

According to a statement from Ashurst, who advised Jemena, the transaction involved Jemena acquiring 100 per cent of the shares in the following companies from Origin Energy, each of which hold the following pipeline licences comprising the Darling Downs Pipeline: Oil Company of Australia (Moura) Transmissions Pty Ltd (PPL 90); Origin Energy Walloons Transmissions Pty Ltd (PPL 133); and Origin Energy Wallumbilla Transmissions Pty Ltd (PPL 134).

“We are delighted to have advised Jemena in relation to this significant acquisition, which will further enhance its position as a leading participant in Australian energy markets,” Ashurst partner Paul Newman said.

“We are particularly proud to assist with building Jemena’s portfolio of gas transmission infrastructure in Queensland, as the Darling Downs Pipeline represents a natural extension of its existing business.

“The Ashurst team provided significant legal support to Jemena in all aspects of the acquisition, from initial due diligence through to transitional services and long-term gas transportation agreements. Because of the complexity involved in pipeline licensing, tenure, environmental and transport arrangements, it is a testament to the team that they were able to complete this transaction within a strict timetable to ensure completion will be reached in a timely and ordered way.”

According to a statement from HSF, this latest transaction concludes Origin’s asset divestment program announced in September 2015 which has seen Origin divest a number of assets. The program has successfully raised $1 billion, which is significantly higher than Origin’s initial $800 million target, the firm said.

“We are delighted to have partnered with Origin on a number of the asset sales involved in their successful divestment program,” HSF partner Rob Merrick said.

“The program has achieved a significantly higher sales result than initially targeted, which is a great outcome for Origin. It is also testament to the health of the Australian energy infrastructure market.” 

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