A&O wins water fight for Macquarie

Contrary to expectation, Allen & Overy client Macquarie finally emerged triumphant in the long-running auction for Thames Water by German utilities group RWE. The favourite was Qatar Investment Authority and UBS, advised by Herbert Smith. By 10 October it had reportedly upped its bid to £10bn. Macquarie’s successful offer included agreeing to pay £1bn for the utility and paying off £7bn of debt. As well as the Qatari and UBS team, Macquarie beat off rivals including Australian utilities group Alinta and private equity fund Terra Firma. Relationship partner Alan Paul led the team at A&O, with Jeremy Hunt, Keith McGuire and Christopher Thornes. Also busy will be corporate partner Charles Randell’s team at Slaughter and May, advising RWE, a longstanding client of Slaughter’s best friend Hengeler Mueller, and Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), advising Thames Water’s board.