Linklaters and Australian alliance partner Allens are advising China’s State Grid Corp., the government-owned utility that is the world’s largest, on the acquisition of Australian power assets believed to be worth almost $4 billion.
State Grid has reached an agreement to pay Singapore Power Ltd. $800 million for a 20 percent stake in SP Ausnet Ltd., an energy distributor operating in Australia. The Chinese company will also acquire from Singapore Power a 60 percent stake in SPI Australia Pty. Ltd., a Melbourne- and Sydney-focused utility, for an undisclosed sum. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the SPI Australia stake should cost State Grid about $3 billion.
The deal is subject to approvals from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board and China’s National Development and Reform Commission.
The pair of acquisitions represent State Grid’s second foray into Australia. Last year, the Chinese utility bought a 41 percent interest in Adelaide-based ElectraNet electricity transmission network for $500 million.
State Grid is being advised by Linklaters partners Thomas Ng and Judie Ng Shortell in Beijing and Allens partners Anna Collyer and Wendy Rae in Sydney. The two firms also teamed up to advise State Grid on the ElectraNet deal.
Herbert Smith Freehills Melbourne partner Robert Nicholson is representing Singapore Power along with Allen & Gledhill. Minter Ellison Melbourne partner Mark Green is also leading a team acting for Singapore Power on tax matters.
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