WFW advises Denmark’s PKA on first ever biomass plant investment

18 August 2016

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) successfully advised PKA, one of Denmark’s leading pension funds, on its acquisition of a 50% stake in the Teesside Renewable Energy Plant in the North-East of England, which is its first ever investment in the biomass sector and is in line with its stated support for mitigating climate change. The investment bank Macquarie Capital will hold the remaining 50%, and the total investment in the plant is anticipated to be in the region of £900m.

The Teesside plant will be one of the largest biomass-fuelled power stations in the world, with a capacity of 299 MW, enough to generate electricity to cover the annual consumption of over half a million households. Developed by MGT Power and expected to be completed by 2020, the plant will source sustainable biomass from wood pellets and wood chips.

While this is PKA’s first investment in the biomass space, the fund has made several investments in the broader renewables sector, including most in offshore wind.

WFW acted as lead UK counsel to PKA throughout the transaction, including on all tax and structuring advice on the investment.

The London-based team was led by partner Evan Stergoulis, Global Head of Energy & Infrastructure, working closely with corporate partner Ravinder Sandhu, real estate partner Simon Folley and tax partner Tom Jarvis. They were assisted by senior associates Katherine Best, Joe Hesketh, Jon Thursby, Helen Forsey and Nick Walker (all Energy & Infrastructure) and Danny Heathwood (Corporate) and associates Danny Perera (Corporate) and Emma Blake and Tom Harrison-Cripps (both Energy & Infrastructure).

Evan commented: “While we’ve previously been on the opposite side of PKA, this is the first time we have had the privilege of acting for them and I’m delighted they chose to turn to WFW to advise them on such a high profile and complex deal. This really does reinforce the firm’s status as the leading law firm for renewable energy worldwide”.

Bruun & Hjejle acted as Danish legal counsel to PKA, with Allen & Overy advising the project’s sponsors and Linklaters the lenders.