WFW advises Crédit Agricole Assurances on its acquisition of share capital in GDF Suez Futures Energies Investissement

18 December 2013


Watson, Farley & Williams (“WFW”), a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce that it has advised Crédit Agricole Assurances on its acquisition of 50% of the share capital of GDF Suez Futures Energies Investissement Holding (FEIH) through its subsidiary, Predica.

Through this transaction, GDF Suez is transferring half of its portfolio of 39 onshore wind farms, which are already in service and have a total capacity of 440 MW. This will not only enable Crédit Agricole Assurances to continue investing in infrastructure and, in particular, energy infrastructure but it will also help GDF Suez to reduce its debt burden by approximately €400 million. The capital transfer is scheduled to take place during the first quarter of 2014, after which GDF Suez will remain in charge of the development, construction and operation of current and future wind farms.

GDF Suez’s aim is to expand its renewable energy portfolio and to increase its market share in Europe. In France, the group has made it clear that it wishes to speed up the development of its own production, particularly in wind energy, by raising total capacity from 1,200 MW to more than 2,000 MW by 2016.

WFW advised Crédit Agricole Assurances on all the legal and tax aspects from the initial “beauty contest” stage of GDF Suez’s call for tenders, through to the completion of the transaction.

The WFW Paris team was led by Corporate partner, Vincent Trevisani, supported by associates Clémence Halpern (Senior), Claire Gamain (Senior) and Félicien Bardsley on the corporate aspects, and by associates Laurent Battoue (Senior), Julien Barba and Florent Segalen who advised on the relevant regulatory and real estate issues. The tax aspects were addressed by partner Romain Girtanner, supported by associate Cynthia Gozan, while the finance aspects were dealt with by Finance partner, Laurence Martinez-Bellet, assisted by associates Thomas Lugez and Jean-François Tournier.

WFW Paris lead partner Vincent Trevisani comments: “It was satisfying to be able to help Crédit Agricole Assurances to invest in their first renewable energy portfolio. Our team drew on their broad skills and long experience in the energy sector to support them with this initial investment.”