Legal Business Blogs

Deal round-up: Bakers, Bird & Bird and Simmons advise on multi-billion energy programme as BLP takes on PFI bond issue

The UK government may be short of funds but it has generated high value deals for Baker & McKenzie, Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) Bird & Bird and Simons & Simmons in the past few days as the recent initial public offering (IPO) wave also see CMS Cameron McKenna advise on an Alternative Investment Market (AIM) float.

As the government moves to instal smart meters in all homes and small businesses by 2020 in a programme worth £12bn, Simmons advised long standing client Telefónica UK on a £1.5bn contract awarded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to act as smart meter provider for central and southern UK.

Simmons’ information, communications & technology (ICT) partner James Cotter led the team and commented: ‘Not only has the transaction been a key strategic priority for Telefónica but it has involved considerable complexities and captured the interests of everyone involved in the energy, wider utilities and TMT sectors.

Winning a £625m to cover Scotland and northern England was communications company Arqiva, advised by Bakers ICT partner Duncan Reid-Thomas. Reid-Thomas said: ‘We’re delighted to work with Arqiva again on this landmark project which will help consumers to control costs and save energy.’

Bird & Bird advised DECC with a team comprised of commercial partners Ronald Hendrikx, Ian Edwards and Peter Elliot.

Elswhere, BLP acted for FHW Dalmore and Investec Bank on the first issue of bonds for a UK private finance initiative (PFI) since the financial crisis. The £83m bond issue will provide funding for a PFI project to regenerate the Salford area of Manchester over a 30 year period. The BLP team was led by finance partner Prashanth Satyadeva, who joined from Clifford Chance in 2012, where he was a partner in the structured debt group.

Satyadeva said: ‘We are delighted to have played a significant part in this publicly-listed bond deal which has helped in opening up access to an increasing institutional investor appetite in project bonds without the need for a financial guarantee to protect against construction risk.’

Meanwhile, IPOs have been causing a stir in the corporate hallways of the City and this week was no exception, as CMS Cameron McKenna advised Smith & Williamson as nominated advisor and joint broker on the float of leading Ukrainian property group Arricano Real Estate on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.

A cross-border CMS-team was led by head of international capital markets, Daniel Winterfeldt, together with corporate partner and London head of capital markets Gary Green. CMS Kyiv associate Ruslan Ostapenko advised on the Ukrainian aspects of the transaction.

Baker & McKenzie advised Arricano on the IPO, led by London-based capital markets partner Nick O’Donnell.