Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith bag key roles on EDF-Brit Energy

Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith, Shepherd & Wedderburn and Slaughter and May have tied up the £12.5bn sale of power giant British Energy to EDF.

<a class=Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith bag key roles on EDF-Brit Energy” />Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith, Shepherd and Wedderburn and Slaughter and May have tied up the £12.5bn sale of nuclear power generator British Energy to the French utility company EDF.

The French government owned utility company is set to take a 35.6 per cent stake in the UK’s only nuclear energy generator.

Clifford Chance corporate partner Mark Poulton (pictured) led the team acting for the British Energy team, which included energy partner Andrew Grenville and others.

Herbert Smith energy partner Mark Newbury and corporate partner Michael Shaw led the team advising EDF on the successful bid. EDF ultimately emerged victorious over rival bidder Centrica, although EDF had at one point dropped out of the negotiations, after reported disagreements on pricing (, 11 August.)

Scottish firm Shepherd and Wedderburn advised the Nuclear Liabilities Fund (NLF) in connection with the deal, while Slaughter and May is advising the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

The relationship between Clifford Chance and British Energy goes back to 2002, when Clifford Chance, led by David Childs who is now the firm’s managing partner, advised on British Energy on its restructuring (The Lawyer, 16 September 2002).

Lovells in Paris advised EDF on raising the debt for the transaction. Lovells in London and Paris advised financial adviser Merrill Lynch, and financial adviser and lending bank BNP Paribas.

White & Case Paris acted for the bookrunners: Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas, Calyon, HSBC, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking.