Clayton Utz advised on what could be the largest energy sector deal in Asia this year — China Light & Power’s $2.2 billion acquisition of the Australian merchant energy business of Singapore Power International.
A multidisciplinary team from Clayton Utz represented China Light & Power’s senior debt providers: National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. The deal involved the acquisition of electricity generating facilities in South Australia, various gas storage facilities and electricity and gas retail operations on the eastern seaboard.
The transaction also required the refinancing of Yallourn Energy, Victoria’s second largest base load coal-fired electricity generator.
The deal, which closed at the end of May, made China Light & Power the second-largest foreign investor in Australia’s power sector, with around $5 billion in Australian assets.
Banking and finance partner Quentin Solomon led the firm’s Melbourne team, which included special counsel Tricia Moloney, senior associate Rebecca Hope, solicitors Catherine Stuart and Joseph Varghese and articled clerk Elliot Raleigh. In Sydney, corporate partner Simon Truskett together with senior associate Faith Taylor and solicitor Alecia Braven from the firm’s energy practice ensured the due diligence and sale arrangements were in order.
Clayton Utz banking and finance head Grant Fuzi praised the collaborative efforts of the firm’s cross-office teams on the deal. “The China Light & Power transaction was particularly difficult as a result of the separation of Singapore Power’s generating and retail businesses from its remaining distribution businesses. So it was particularly pleasing to close on time and without unresolved issues,” Fuzi said.