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‘A competitive auction’: Clifford Chance and CMS advise as consortium buys majority of National Grid

Clifford Chance, CMS Cameron McKenna, Linklaters and Eversheds have advised as National Grid has agreed the sale of its gas pipe network with an enterprise value of approximately £13.8bn to a consortium of bidders.

National Grid has agreed to sell a 61% equity interest in its UK gas distribution business to a consortium including Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Allianz Capital Partners, Hermes Investment Management, CIC Capital Corporation, Qatar Investment Authority, Dalmore Capital and Amber Infrastructure Limited/International Public Partnerships.

A range of bidders had been mooted throughout the year, including Global Infrastructure Partners, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Fosun International, the CPP Investment Board and a consortium including Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Borealis.

Clifford Chance and Camerons acted for the winning consortium. Camerons’ head of corporate Charles Currier led a team on the deal while Clifford Chance corporate partner Brendan Moylan acted alongside finance partners Michael Bates and Stephen Curtis.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advised consortium member Qatar Investment Authority with partners  Michael McDonald and Tihir Sarkar taking the lead.

The Linklaters team advising National Grid was led by corporate partners Roger Barron and Jessamy Gallagher. Eversheds also advised the utility company, leading the business separation and supporting the sale with a team led by corporate partner James Trevis.

The property separation aspects of the deal, which includes the transfer of over 15,000 properties, was led by Addleshaw Goddard real estate partners Ian Smith and Cathy Fearnhead co-ordinating other firms, including Eversheds, DLA Piper and Irwin Mitchell. DLA Piper’s team was led by partners Tim Field and Tom Kelsall.

Legal Business understands Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised Fosun on its bid with a team led by international energy and natural resources co-head Laurie McFadden. London private equity head Adrian Maguire and corporate partners Richard Thexton, Alan Wang and Natascha Doll also advised.

Linklaters’ Barron said: ‘It was a very competitive auction, but it shows continued confidence in UK infrastructure assets with an international consortium showing its desire to invest in the UK.’