Minter Ellison has advised Singapore Power on its planned acquisition of TXU Corporation’s Australian energy assets — the largest energy transaction in Australia to date.
Minters said it had 90 lawyers working on the deal in a “hectic” three weeks prior to the sale being announced by US-based TXU Corp last week. The law firm provided full service advice on the transaction, including corporate, finance, tax and structuring, and due diligence (legal and tax).
TXU’s Australian assets are valued at more than $5 billion. They comprise an electricity merchant trading business with over 1 million customers, electricity and natural gas distribution networks in Victoria, the country’s first commercial underground natural gas storage facility, and a large generating plant in SA.
The deal still needs clearance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, but it is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.
Minters said Singapore Power’s Australian operations would have a market capitalisation of more than $7.5 billion once the sale was complete, which would make the company the largest non-government utility in the country.
Lead partner on the transaction, Mark Green, called on such a large team — drawn from across the firm’s Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane offices — in part due to the tight deadlines imposed, with Green and two partners, Don Clarke and Andrew Venables, spending three weeks in Dallas after being given 24 hours notice.
Other key members of the team included partners Mitzi Gilligan, Tim Watkin and Alan Kenworthy.
The sale of the Australian assets is the largest of a series of transactions totalling approximately US$8 ($10.9) billion announced by TXU Corp, which also includes the sale of TXU Fuel, the intended sale of TXU Gas and the repurchase of TXU Energy’s Exchangeable Preferred Membership Interests.