Oil and gas giant opts for its first non-Canadian law firm on the acquisition of Veba from E.ON
Allen & Overy (A&O) has won Canada's largest oil and gas company Petro-Canada as a new client following its instruction on the company's first-ever European transaction. A&O advised the company on its acquisition of Veba Oil and Gas, which E.ON was in the process of selling to BP. This is believed to be the first time that Petro-Canada has used a non-Canadian firm. A&O was introduced to Petro-Canada three years ago in connection with a European corporate deal, which subsequently fell through. E.ON set up a data room detailing Veba's assets in November and A&O received a call from Petro-Canada asking it to put together a proposal. Other bidders included the UK's Enterprise, which was advised by Herbert Smith, and Australian company Woodside.
"Petro-Canada has put in an enormous amount of effort to achieve what is an important strategic step in its development" Roger Davies, Allen & Overy
BP had previously agreed to take over Veba from E.ON, keeping the petrol stations but selling the upstream assets while E.ON would take over BP's holding in Ruhrgas. However, two weeks ago German regulators objected on competition grounds to BP's hopes to pay E.ON with its unwanted 25 per cent stake in Ruhrgas. It will now have to pay cash. This prior agreement meant that BP acted on behalf of itself and E.ON in the Petro-Canada deal. CMS Cameron McKenna's head of oil and gas Penelope Warne led the team that advised BP. It worked closely with the company's in-house head of legal Jens Bertelsen. The team at A&O was led by corporate partners Roger Davies and Tim Shilling out of the London office. German law was handled by partners Reinhard Hermes and Cornelius Fischer-Zernin in the Hamburg office. The Amsterdam and Dubai offices were also involved. A&O's energy team has had a particularly high profile in the past few months and this is the second competitive tender win in a row for the firm's energy team. It also advised German oil company RWE-DEA on its acquisition of British gas producer Highland Energy Holdings for an undisclosed sum. Davies said: "Petro-Canada has put in an enormous amount of effort to achieve what is a very important strategic step in its development and we're delighted to be acting for them."