Links and Simpson Thacher lead on E.ON’s £4bn PPL sell-off

Linklaters and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett have taken the lead roles on the £4bn sale of E.ON’s UK electricity distribution business to Pennsylvania Power and Light (PPL).

Adam Signy
Adam Signy

Simpson Thacher M&A partner Adam Signy won the instruction from PPL in London as the US bidder came out on top following a competitive auction. New York corporate partner Vince Pagano led the Simpson Thacher team in the US, alongside corporate partner James Cross and tax partner Rob Holo.

Linklaters corporate partners Matthew Middleditch and Roger Barron acted for the German utility company on the sale side.

Allen & Overy also acted for PPL on UK law, with corporate partners Eileen Kelliher and Richard Evans leading. Ashurst also acted for the US buyer on competition aspects.

Ashurst advised PPL on the regulatory and competition aspects of the deal. The team was led by chief economist Mat Hughes with partner Adrian Clark providing corporate support.

It is understood that Slaughter and May won a role advising the unnamed group of banks providing financing for the deal.

The transaction came after a competing bid from Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI) was thought to have tied-up a deal to buy the energy giant’s UK business, with CMS Cameron McKenna thought to be providing legal advice. Other bidders included Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which is understood to have instructed a team from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.