A&O, CMS and Freshfields land mandates on £696m UK nuclear sale

Allen & Overy (A&O) advised Hitachi on its £696m purchase of Horizon Nuclear Power, with CMS Cameron McKenna, Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer all scoring roles on the sell side.

Japanese energy and engineering company Hitachi has agreed to buy Britain’s Horizon nuclear project from E.ON and RWE, which established the joint venture in 2009 (18 November 2009). German companies E.ON and RWE decided to sell in March in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster and the German government’s decision to tax nuclear operators.

The deal could see Hitachi build between four and six new reactors in the UK.

A&O energy co-head Gareth Price and corporate partner John Geraghty led the team advising Hitachi on its purchase.

Clifford Chance, which had previously advised Horizon, is understood to have had a small role acting for the joint venture helping with due diligence.

Freshfields, led by corporate partners Andrew Hutchings and James Wood and IP partner Chris Forsyth, advised E.ON, while CMS partner Charles Currier advised RWE.

Background to this deal:

Currier is CMS’ relationship partner for RWE and advised the company when it sought to establish the Horizon joint Venture in 2009.

A&O has worked with Hitachi for 20 years on corporate and competition matters and has a longstanding relationship with the company’s power systems division.