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CC and Baker McKenzie advise as China joint venture pays $4.5bn for German energy smart meter company

Clifford Chance and Baker McKenzie advise on the €4.5bn (£4.03bn) takeover of German metering and energy management group company Ista by a CK Infrastructure Holdings (CKI) and Cheung Kong Property Holdings joint venture, as Chinese buyouts of European companies rise.

German firm Hengeler Mueller is acting for the vendors CVC Capital Partners Fund V.

The transaction is subject to regulatory and antitrust approvals and is expected to be closed in the fourth quarter of 2017.

German corporate partners Markus Muhs and Anselm Raddatz led the Clifford Chance team advising the joint venture.

Baker McKenzie London banking and finance partner Lynn Rosell Rowley headed the group working with the lenders for the deal. Berlin-based energy and infrastructure partner Tim Heitling, banking partners Kathrin Marchant in Frankfurt and Laurent Fessmann in Luxembourg also worked on the deal for Baker McKenzie’s team.

Legal Business understands that close to 13 banks were involved in financing the acquisition.

Ista provides energy management services for energy efficiency in buildings. Ista’s private equity owners, CVC, acquired the company in April 2013 in what was at the time the largest private equity transaction since the 2008 crisis, which valued the company at €3.1bn.

The deal is another sign of the strengthening interest in the energy market, which follows major Swiss electricity smart meter producer Landis+Gyr’s $2.4bn (£1.84bn) initial public offering (IPO) last week, Europe’s second largest this year.

Hong Kong-listed CKI is a global infrastructure company that has diversified investments in energy infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, water infrastructure and waste management. Its operations now span Hong Kong and mainland China to the UK, the Netherlands, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

CKI has now entered in a joint venture with Cheung Kong Property Holdings, a property developer based in Hong Kong.

The latest in a run of Chinese buyouts in Europe, the deal followed last week’s announcement that Mayer BrownBerwin Leighton Paisner(BLP) and CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang all advised on Hong Kong investors LKK Health Products £1.3bn purchase of London landmark skyscraper, 20 Fenchurch Street, or the ‘Walkie Talkie.’