Latham secures sale of debt-ridden Atlantic

Latham & Watkins’ London office has helped secure the future of Atlantic Electric & Gas after pushing through the company’s sale just hours after it was put into receivership.

A team led by Latham corporate and recovery partner John Houghton acted for administrative receiver KPMG on the £90.7m sale of Atlantic to Scottish and Southern Energy, which used long-time adviser Dundas & Wilson.

The Scottish firm’s team was led by corporate recovery and restructuring partner David Gibson.

It is understood that Atlantic, which was set up in 2000 by US energy trader and supplier Sempra, had been in financial difficulty for some time before US investment bank Greenhill & Co was brought in around three months ago to oversee a sell-off.

During this time, prospective buyers were able to investigate its assets, which include 300,000 electricity and gas customers.

The sale took place through a pre-planned receivership, meaning the buyer was able to acquire the assets without taking on any potential liabilities, resulting in a smoother transition of the business to the new owner as a going concern.

Latham’s role not only involved acting for the receivers, but also working with the secured creditors in agreeing a structure that would benefit those owed money but also minimise disrupting the business.

Addleshaw Goddard provided advice to Atlantic’s directors on individual liabilities, while Dewey Ballantine acted for the shareholders in the target company.