Ashurst, Freshfields and Hogan Lovells lead on £2.4bn sale of Northumbrian Water

Ashurst, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Hogan Lovells were all acting on Northumbrian Water’s £2.4bn cash sale to a Hong Kong consortium controlled by billionaire Li Ka-Shing.

Northumbrian Water approved the deal today, with shareholders set to receive 465p a share.

Freshfields is advising the consortium, UK Water, which is controlled by Li’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (CKI). The Freshfields team is led by corporate partners Piers Prichard Jones and Edward Braham in London, and corporate partner Simon Weller in Hong Kong.

London finance partner Peter Hall is leading the finance team for Freshfields, while partner David Aitman is handling anti-trust and regulatory issues. The firm is also advising UK Water on employment and pensions matters, with partner Nicholas Squire leading in that respect.

Freshfields is working alongside Mills & Reeve corporate partners Stephen Hamilton and Claire Clarke, who advised CKI on its disposal of Cambridge Water, which was sold to HSBC as part of the takeover deal.

Hogan Lovells is advising Northumbrian Water, with partners Steven Bryan and Guy Potel advising on the corporate side, partner Matthew Levitt on the competition and regulatory side and Louise Whitewright, also a partner, tackling employee share scheme aspects.

Ashurst, led by corporate partners Adrian Clark and Tom Mercer, and finance partner Jane Fissenden, is advising HSBC and RBC Capital Markets as joint financial advisers to UK Water.