Linklaters secures wind farm instruction from RWE Innogy

Linklaters secures wind farm instruction from RWE Innogy” />Linklaters has cemented its number one position with RWE Innogy, winning one of the company’s first sizeable deals since RWE acquired Innogy in 2002.

The magic circle firm is advising RWE Innogy on a £400m refinancing of its wind farm portfolio named Zephyr Investments, in which the utilities giant has sold off two-thirds of the share capital.

The company and the new investors, Englefield Capital and the First Islamic Investment Bank, will each own a third of the £100m portfolio. There is a further £300m debt facility provided by a group of investment banks.

It was uncertain which firms would be retained as advisers to the utility company after Germany’s RWE, which had its own UK subsidiary Thames Water, acquired Innogy in 2002. RWE’s UK adviser traditionally was Allen & Overy (A&O), Thames Water retained Slaughter and May, and Innogy has instructed Linklaters for a number of years. However, it is not thought that the company has decided to axe any of its advisers as yet.

Linklaters did not have to pitch for the Zephyr deal – corporate partner John Goodwin was first asked to advise on the deal almost a year ago.

However, A&O did not lose out entirely. After appointing Linklaters, Innogy then held a beauty parade to find advisers to the financiers (which at that stage had not been chosen), and it was here that A&O was successful.

A&O environmental partner Ross Fairley secured the firm an opportunity to tender and led the pitch team. However, it was banking partners Tim Arnheim, Sheila Connell and Mark Walker that led the deal for the lenders.

The transaction also marked a win for Hammonds, which for the first time advised private equity firm Englefield Capital.

Hammonds head of energy and utilities William Downs said the firm did not pitch for the work – instead it received a referral from another client, Ergo Services, which will provide services to Zephyr Investments.

Scottish firm MacRoberts also advised Englefield Capital for the first time, after being brought in by Hammonds to advise the equity partners on Scottish aspects.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Mark Coker led the team advising First Islamic.

Bond Pearce and Scottish firm Wright Johnson & Mackenzie also acted for RWE Innogy. Dundas & Wilson worked in conjunction with A&O advising the banks on Scottish matters.