A team of lawyers from the climate change and corporate groups in Baker & McKenzie ’s Sydney and London offices advised EcoSecurities Group on its admission to the London Stock Exchange AIM.
A London-based carbon specialist, EcoSecurities, raised £54 ($127) million through the listing. It is only the third company with a focus on the expanding climate change sector to be listed on AIM, joining AgCert and Trading Emissions PLC.
Martijn Wilder, head partner of Baker & McKenzie’s global climate change, clean energy and emissions trading practice, said EcoSecurities was one of the originators of projects with the potential to generate carbon credits, structuring clean development mechanisms (CDM) and joint implementation (JI) projects to qualify under the terms of the Kyoto Protocol, and then selling the carbon credits generated to market participants.
“[The listing] is significant for EcoSecurities because it obviously capitalises their business. It takes it from a small, privately held company, to one that is listed on AIM, which allows it to do more major projects in the carbon credits trading area,” he said.
Its market capitalisation is expected to be approximately £137.4 ($323.8) million.
Wilder said the Australian team had completed all the carbon, climate change and CDM work. “We have a team of six lawyers who do nothing but climate change emissions trading in the Sydney office.”
Adding to the complexity of the deal was the changing regulatory environment in which it was conducted. “At the time we were doing this, both the legal frameworks around the Kyoto Protocol and CDM were changing,” Wilder said.
“And the market price was shifting, with the market growing all the time. Unless you actually practise in that area and know how things work on the ground, it is very hard to do an analysis.”
Wilder was assisted on the deal by Peter Hawkes, a senior associate in the Sydney office, partner Clive Cook, and associates Elliot Shear and Kelvin Poa in the London office. Matheson Ormsby Prentice advised EcoSecurities on the Irish law aspects of the issue, and Hoare Govett Limited acted as nominated adviser, financial adviser and broker to the company. ABN AMRO Rothschild acted as bookrunner, lead manager and underwriter.