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Ashurst, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Simmons & Simmons have taken leading roles on the merger of parts of existing Swedish and UK oil and gas entities to form a new listed company, EnQuest.
A large, multidisciplinary team at Ashurst is acting for EnQuest on both the merger and the dual listing on the London and Stockholm exchanges, due to take place next month.
The team was led by corporate partner Steven Fox on the equity capital markets aspects, finance partner Huw Thomas on the debt side and energy partner Jan Sanders. The company, which is expected to have a market capitalisation of between $1bn-$1.4bn (£660m-930m), will combine the continental shelf oil and gas assets of Petrofac and Swedish company Lundin.
Petrofac turned to Freshfields corporate partner Gareth Stephenson for advice, while Lundin used in-house counsel Jeff Fountain.
Simmons capital markets partner Chris Horton is acting for the broker JPMorgan Cazenove on the dual IPOs, which are scheduled to launch on 6 April. Under normal rules, a company would have to be in operation for three years before it was allowed to list, but EnQuest will be admitted to the exchanges as its underlying assets date further back. Fox said the deal threw up new challenges for legal advisers.
”There were interesting issues that you’d not normally get in most M&As,” he said. “We had to build bottom-up. Most companies [about to list] will already have a structure, but in this instance they needed everything new.”
The new entity hopes to take advantage of the downscaling of North Sea operations of some of the major existing operators, such as Shell.
Another upstream oil producer, Warburg Pincus-backed Fairfield Energy, is also understood to be looking at launching an IPO in the coming months.