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WFW advises HRL Morrison on European renewables investment platform12 February 2020

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Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) advised leading alternative asset manager HRL Morrison & Co. (“Morrison & Co”) on structuring and implementing an investment platform for pan-European renewables developments.

The newly established platform, Galileo Green Energy (“GGE”), is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. It will invest in the development of wind and solar energy projects and storage solutions across Europe, including in Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the UK. GGE has secured its first partnership with renewable energy developer EMPower to develop jointly a portfolio of greenfield wind farm sites in Ireland with a capacity of circa 300 MW.

The platform’s investors include Infratil Ltd, a listed New Zealand-based infrastructure investment company established by Morrison & Co in 1994; the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation; the New Zealand Superannuation Fund; and the Morrison & Co Growth Infrastructure Fund.

Morrison & Co is one of the world’s longest-standing specialist infrastructure investment managers and operators. Today, it manages multiple client mandates with total funds under management of A$15bn.

WFW provided tax and legal advice on structuring and implementing the platform, including documenting the (i) funding and shareholder arrangements between the ultimate investors, (ii) the incentive regime with the key developers, and (iii) all related service and management agreements, including all related tax, employment and regulatory advice.

The multidisciplinary, cross-border WFW team that advised Morrison & Co was led by London Energy Partner Evan Stergoulis and London Tax Partner Tom Jarvis. London Senior Associate Nerina Erasmus and Associate Jennifer Evans advised on corporate matters while employment aspects in their relevant jurisdictions were handled by London Partner Anna Robinson supported by Associate Chris Warwick-Evans, Rome Partner Elvezio Santarelli, supported by Counsel Luca Sfrecola and Associate Raffaela Colamarino, and Paris Of Counsel Ariane Massonnaud and Associate Maureen Perchicot. Tax advice was also provided by London Senior Associate David Jacob and Associate Andrew Holland, Madrid Partner Luis Soto, Hamburg Partners Gerrit Bartsch and Verena Scheibe, Paris Partner Romain Girtanner and Milan Senior Associate Alfredo Guacci Esposito.

Evan commented: “I am delighted that a major asset manager like Morrison & Co chose WFW to advise it on this exciting move. It showcases our international renown as the leader for renewables advice worldwide”.

Tom added: “It is great to see Southern Hemisphere infrastructure funds and institutional investors moving into the European renewables market. This complex, cutting-edge transaction demonstrates WFW’s pedigree in providing multi-jurisdictional and multidisciplinary tax and legal advice”.

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