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NSW electricity network to be acquired

NSW electricity network to be acquired

David Ryan

Two companies have been advised on their bid of over $16 billion to acquire electricity infrastructure network Ausgrid.

Firms: Ashurst (IFM Investors and AustralianSuper); Herbert Smith Freehills (IFM Investors and AustralianSuper); Allens (Ausgrid); Clayton Utz (financiers to the consortium)

Deal: IFM Investors and AustralianSuper has been advised on their bid to acquire Ausgrid.

Value: Approximately $16.1 billion

Area: M&A

Key players: The team advising IFM Investors and AustralianSuper was led by Ashurst partners Murray Wheater and David Mason, and Herbert Smith Freehills partners David Ryan (pictured), Baden Furphy and Nick Baker. HSF senior associates Miles Wadley and Bailee Walker assisted in the transaction.

The team advising Ausgrid was led by Allens partner John Greig.

Deal significance: Ausgrid is an electricity infrastructure company that owns, maintains and operates the electrical distribution networks to over 1.6 million customers across NSW.

This deal sees IFM Investors and AustralianSuper bid for a 99-year lease on Ausgrid. As part of the deal, the superannuation fund investors will control a 50.4 per cent stake in Ausgrid.

IFM and AustralianSuper’s proposition is unique as it is 100 per cent Australian-owned and therefore does not require Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval.

The private sale will be instrumental in raising money for the 2017 budget to put towards NSW state infrastructure projects such as the Sydney Metro and WestConnex.

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