Linklaters takes on Innogy's asset swap with Northern

Linklaters & Alliance and Herbert Smith are advising Innogy Holdings and Northern Electric on a landmark asset swap deal.
Innogy, which was part of National Power until a year ago, is giving up its interests in its Yorkshire electricity distribution business and associated debt in exchange for Northern Electric's electricity and gas supply business.
A Linklaters team led by corporate partner Charlie Jacobs is representing Innogy, which the firm has been acting for since the National Power demerger last October. National Power was a longstanding client of Linklaters, and when it demerged its domestic business, now known as Innogy, and its international business, now known as International Power, the firm picked up the bulk of the work.
Jacobs also acted for Innogy in April this year when it acquired a stake in Yorkshire Power Group, which included the distribution business it is now transferring to Northern Electric, and a supply business it is holding on to.
Under the latest deal, Northern Electric will acquire 94.75 per cent of Yorkshire Power Group, which owns the Yorkshire electricity distribution business and an external connections and contracting business, for around £1bn. That includes assumed debt of around £742m.
Jacobs said: “Innogy didn't want the distribution business, just the supply business, so this deal was a dream come true for them – they kept the bit that they wanted.”
Linklaters had three teams on the deal working on different parts of the transaction – one separating out the supply business from the rest of the Yorkshire electricity business, one selling the distribution business and another buying the Northern Electric supply business.
“We had a core team of five corporate lawyers backed up by 20 or so specialists,” said Jacobs. “Each part of the deal was equally difficult, so the hardest bit was probably coordinating it all and keeping an eye on all the moving parts.”
Jacobs picked out senior assistant Angus Rollo as having played a particularly significant role in the deal.
The Herbert Smith team advising Northern Electric included energy and projects partner Henry Davey, EU and competition partner Elizabeth McKnight, tax partner Neil Warriner, employment and trusts partners Alison Brown and Andrew Brown, finance partner Jason Fox, property partner Iain Rothnie and intellectual property/IT partner Mark Turner.
The transaction is expected to close within three months, subject to European Commission approval.