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A €6.6bn purchase: Linklaters and Milbank advise on Borealis’ Swedish Fortum Distribution deal

Linklaters and US firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy have picked up key instructions on the €6.6bn purchase of Fortum Distribution, the owner of Fortum’s electricity distribution business in Sweden, by Borealis Infrastructure Management.

A team at Linklaters, led by finance partner Ian Andrews, advised the Swedish-Canadian consortium on UK law aspects of the purchase. The consortium comprised made up of Borealis Infrastructure Management, Swedish national pension funds Första AP-Fonden and Tredje AP-Fonden, and Swedish mutual insurance and pension savings company Folksam.

Milbank advised the mandated lead arrangers, with leveraged finance partner and practice head Suhrud Mehta leading a multi-disciplinary team including finance partners Clive Ransome, Neil Caddy and James Warbey.

Swedish firm Mannheimer Swartling was lead counsel to the purchaser with a team including M&A partner Adam Green. Avance was lead counsel to Fortum with a team including senior partner Ulf-Henrik Kull, while local firm Vinge also provided counsel on the deal with a team led by Johan Gothberg.

Fortum Distribution AB is the second largest player in the electricity distribution market in Sweden, with 900,000 customers representing a market share of around 17%. With the total consideration on a debt and cash free basis, Fortum expects to complete the divestment process during the second quarter of 2015 subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

Linklaters partner Andrews said: ‘This is the leading deal in the market this year and one of the largest and most complex for some time. It is a real credit to the consortium and we are delighted to have been able to help them achieve this success.’

Milbank practice head Mehta added: ‘This transaction is another strong example of our team’s ability to handle the largest and most complicated financings with a very large bank group and demonstrates Milbank’s bandwidth and talent for execution given the sheer number of clients involved and the complexity of the transaction.’