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Sector focused corporate advice

Our international corporate team has extensive experience of advising on high value, domestic and cross-border transactions. Our team combines in-depth sector expertise with experience across all corporate disciplines to deliver pragmatic and commercially valuable advice.

What we do

We have concentrated the development of our global capabilities and the growth of our expertise firm-wide on a number of inter-connected industry sectors, which distinguishes us from our competitors. Having industry leading experts in each of these sectors allows us to draw on deep knowledge and experience to understand your strategic objectives, business drivers and the risk you face to effectively deliver your transaction.

Given the international nature of our core sectors, our team has substantial experience of transactions throughout the major world markets. We operate seamlessly across our network of offices. In addition we are able to call upon an extensive network of expert lawyers to assist in other jurisdictions, and manage them as "deal counsel" to provide a complete service to our clients.

We advise many of the world's largest companies, private and institutional investors, insurers, governments, private equity funds and investment banks across the full spectrum of corporate transactions, including M&A (public and private), disposals, joint ventures, equity and debt capital markets (including IPOs and secondary fundraisings), corporate simplification and restructuring, corporate insurance transactions, corporate governance and day to day issues relating to regulatory, stock market and company law compliance.

Our experience

Our lawyers have worked on corporate transactions in the UK, continental Europe, Russia, Africa, the Middle East, India, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Australia, South America and other Pacific Rim countries. Examples of our experience include:

  • Advising Asia Coal Energy Ventures on its successful $200 million competitive takeover to acquire Asia Resource Minerals plc (formerly Bumi plc), a premium listed company which owns 84.7% of PT Berau, one of the largest thermal coal producing assets in Indonesia.
  • Advising a major Middle Eastern state energy company on joint ventures with a number of leading shipping groups to invest in LNG carriers for long term charters with a total value of approximately US$3.5 billion.
  • Advising a leading Chinese company in connection with the sale of its investment in a port in mainland China for a total value of US$1 billion.
  • Advising Omega Insurance Holdings Limited on the application for admission of its common shares to the Official List and to trading on the London Stock Exchange's Main Market and on its concurrent offer on behalf of its subsidiary Omega Dedicated Limited to acquire up to £125 million of capacity on Lloyd's Syndicate 958.
  • Advising the Hellenic Republic on the privatisation of the Greek state-owned gas supply and transmission companies.
  • Advising Syndicate Holdings Corp on the acquistion of HSBC Insurance (UK) Limited (in run off), for an undisclosed sum.
  • Advising Integra Group, a leading Russian provider of onshore oilfield services whose GDRs are listed in London, on the combination of IGSS Services Limited with Geotech Holding, to create one of the world's largest land seismic companies, valued at around US$600 million.
  • Advising Aspen Re on a US$477 million credit insurance and derivative structure in respect of reinsurance receivables, distributed by Deutsche Bank.
  • Advising an international owner and operator of a tank farm on the disposal of a minority stake in European subsidiaries to a substantial infrastructure investor.

Some of our recent transactions include:

Corporate Tombstones

HFW advises on sale of Sagicor Europe to AmTrust Financial Services


A team of HFW lawyers, led by Partners Ashwani Kochhar and Richard Spiller, advised Sagicor Financial Corporation on its sale of Sagicor Europe Limited and its subsidiaries to a wholly-owned subsidiary of AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.

The sale includes Sagicor at Lloyd’s Limited, the managing agent of Lloyd’s property/casualty insurance syndicate 1206 and life insurance syndicate 44, and also includes a reinsurance entity and two Lloyd's corporate members. Subject to Lloyd's and PRA/FCA regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2013.

HFW Partner Ashwani Kochhar said, "This transaction shows the ongoing popularity of the Lloyd's market and the demand for a Lloyd's platform. Those seeking access to Lloyd's through a turnkey arrangement can find that an existing agency is an attractive alternative."

The deal is a further example of HFW's experience in the corporate insurance sector, in particular in transactions in the Lloyd's market.

The HFW team consisted of Partners Ashwani Kochhar and Richard Spiller, and Associates Carolyn Ang and William Reddie.

HFW advises Capita Insurance Services on investment in Cobalt


A team of HFW lawyers, led by Partner Ashwani Kochhar, has advised Capita Insurance Services on a transaction to finance the start-up of Shariah compliant Managing General Agent (MGA) Cobalt Underwriting Services Ltd, through a minority equity stake in its holding company, Cobalt Insurance Holdings Ltd.

This is the first time that Capita Insurance Services has invested in an insurance intermediary business alongside the provision of business outsourcing services, a strategy it is looking to develop. The deal, which is backed by XL Group, who will provide the insurance capacity for selected marine, property and casualty and trade credit products, also involves outsourcing specialist Capita providing business outsourcing services to Cobalt for a minimum of five years.

The provision of Shariah compliant insurance in London is limited and this deal significantly enhances access to this type of insurance and reinsurance capacity.

Global reinsurance intermediary Aon Benfield advised on the strategic planning, feasibility and licensing of Cobalt, while The Bank of London and Middle East also provided start-up support.

The HFW team consisted of Partner Ashwani Kochhar and Associate William Reddie.

HFW advises Government of Niger on debt restructuring


A team of HFW lawyers from Singapore and Paris, led by Partners Brian Gordon, Chris Swart and Robert Follie has advised the Government of Niger on a sovereign debt workout in relation to a 20-year old debt to the Taiwanese Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China.

The debt restructuring deal saw the total owed reduced from US$183 million to US$20 million and required an immediate payment by the Government of Niger of US$5 million. The remaining US$15 million is payable over the next 20 years.

HFW Partner Brian Gordon said: "We are delighted to have been able to help the Government of Niger restructure this long-standing debt with one of its key investors. In coming to this agreement, the Government of Niger is able to put in place new economic growth plans."

HFW's team comprised Partners Brian Gordon and Chris Swart (both Singapore), and Partner Robert Follie, Senior Associate Vincent Bénézech and associate Agathe Philippot (all Paris).

For more information, please contact Tania Phayre, Head of Marketing, on +44 (0)20 7264 8546 or email

HFW advises Tristar Transport on award winning finance deal


HFW Partner Tony Rice and Senior Associate Aysha El-Kaddah recently acted for Tristar Transport LLC in relation to the limited recourse operating lease financing of 6 MR Product Tankers currently under construction and which will, when delivered, be time chartered to Shell on long term Shelltime charters.

The financing comprised both senior, junior and Tristar equity tranches. The senior tranche was provided by a syndicate of Middle Eastern and Australian banks. The value of the vessels on maturity was underwritten by Ironshore Specialty Insurance pursuant to individual residual value insurance policies.

HFW's role included negotiating the shipbuilding contracts, time charters, RVI policies, operating leases and other financing documents as well as the Shell Quiet Enjoyment Letters with Shell and the financing banks.

The transaction recently won the Corporate Finance Award at the ACT Middle East Treasury Awards 2015.

For more information, please contact Tania Phayre on +44 (0)20 7264 8546 or email

HFW advises Stanford Marine on AED1.2 billion refinancing


HFW's Middle East finance team, has advised Stanford Marine Group on a AED1.2 billion (US$326.7 million) sharia-compliant loan for the purposes of consolidating existing debt.

The murabaha-structured facility which was arranged for Stanford Asia Holding Company, an offshore vessel operator, was backed by a syndicate of GCC banks led by Noor Bank PJSC – making it one of the first fully Islamic-backed finance deals in the oilfield services sector.

This is the latest high profile transaction that HFW's Middle East finance team has been involved in, having also recently advised Topaz Energy and Marine on its US$550 million refinancing. HFW also advised Stanford Marine on previous refinancings, one of which was awarded the Marine Money Offshore Deal of the Year Award 2012.

The HFW team also included Associates Emma Cummings, Philippa English and Abeer Garousha. Additional Partner support was provided by Tien Tai.

For more information, please contact Tania Phayre, Head of Marketing, on +44 (0)20 7264 8546 or email

HFW advises on public takeover of Asia Resource Minerals


The Singapore and London offices of Holman Fenwick Willan are advising both Argyle Street Management Limited and its bid vehicle, Asia Coal Energy Ventures (ACE) on its proposed all cash offer of London listed Asia Resource Minerals (LON: ARMS). The widely reported transaction is an all cash offer for ARMS at 56p per share that values the company at more than $200m. The board of ARMS has recommended the ACE offer.

Brian Gordon, Holman Fenwick Willan corporate Partner, says: “We are very pleased to be working with both Argyle Street Management and ACE on the transaction. The deal, which is yet to close, has involved considerable interaction with the UK Takeover Panel and a number of interested parties. Investor appetite for the Indonesian coal sector is currently strong, and with some Indonesian miners posting an impressive return on equity exceeding 20% it is clear to see why. Nonetheless, the requirements of bodies like the UK Takeover Panel must be adhered to in order to capitalise on this commercial benefit – we are pleased that we have been able to support ACE and Argyle Street Management in this regard."

ACE’s director, Kin Chan says, “HFW exhibits the highest professionalism and technical knowledge of both UK Takeover process and complex Asian debt restructuring. Beyond that, the HFW team demonstrates an extraordinary level of dedication to the assignment and its client.”

The HFW team is led by Partners, Brian Gordon, James Lewis, Nick Hutton and Jayson Marks.

For further information, please contact Tania Phayre, Head of Marketing on +44 (0)20 7264 8546 or email

HFW advises Topaz Energy and Marine on US$550 million refinancing


A team of HFW finance lawyers, led by Partner Tien Tai, has advised Topaz Energy and Marine on a US$550m loan facility to refinance existing debt and to fund new projects, including the acquisition of new vessels and related businesses.

The Middle East-based HFW team included Partner Tien Tai, Associates Emma Cummings and Philippa English, along with additional support from Partner Ian Chung. Paul Jarvis from Dentons UAE acted for the financers on this transaction.

HFW Finance Partner Tien Tai remarked: "We are extremely pleased to have been selected by Topaz Energy and Marine to partner with them on their largest refinancing to date, which is designed to give them the flexibility to take their offshore business to the next level. This is one of the headline offshore transactions in the Middle East region this year and has attracted widespread interest from the banking community, many of whom have an interest in this strategically important sector."

HFW advises on Australia's largest integrated off-grid solar array project


A HFW team led by Partner Simon Adams advised Sandfire Resources on what will be Australia's largest off-grid solar array project and one of the largest used in the mining industry anywhere in the world.

The innovative AU$40 million project will involve the construction of a 10.6MW solar power station at Sandfire Resources' DeGrussa Copper Mine in Western Australia. The solar power station will be fully integrated with the existing diesel-fired power station at DeGrussa. The project has the potential to establish DeGrussa as an industry leader in the use of renewable power for mining and processing operations.

Simon was assisted by Jo Garland.

For more information, please contact Pernilla Linden, Marketing and Business Development Manager Australia, on +61 (0)3 8601 4512 or email

HFW advises NewLead on acquisition of bitumen tanker fleet


A team of HFW lawyers has advised NewLead Holding Ltd in relation to the recent delivery of five bitumen tankers to NewLead’s fleet, the "CAPTAIN NIKOLAS I", the "NEPHELI", the "SOFIA", the "IOLI" and the "KATERINA L".

The acquisition of three out of the five bitumen tankers, CAPTAIN NIKOLAS I, NEPHELI and SOFIA, is to be funded through a combination of equity and debt financing. IOLI and KATERINA L were added to NewLead's fleet following two separate bareboat/leasing agreements. The quintet were added to NewLead’s fleet together with associated debt and in exchange of NewLead's issuance of shares of common stock of NewLead.

Four of the five vessels, CAPTAIN NIKOLAS I, NEPHELI, IOLI and KATERINA L, were built in 2009 and SOFIA was built in 2008. NewLead has been managing CAPTAIN NIKOLAS I and SOFIA for over a year. The remaining three vessels were delivered to NewLead's fleet at various times during the fourth quarter of 2014.

Corporate and Ship Finance Partner, Jasel Chauhan, said of the deal: "Corporate transactions involving both equity and debt finance are a core and growing area for HFW in Piraeus. Despite the challenging market conditions both in Greece and internationally, we are delighted to have been able to assist NewLead on their latest acquisition."

HFW's team was led by Piraeus-based Partners Jasel Chauhan and Dimitri Vassos and Associate Holly Foster.

For more information, please contact:

Jasel Chauhan, Partner, on +30 210 429 3978 or email

Nick Hutton, Partner, on +44 (0)20 7264 8254 or email

Tania Phayre, Head of Marketing, on +44 (0)20 7264 8546 or email

HFW advises on insurance/reisnurance broker MBO


A HFW team led by Partner Nick Hutton has advised Lloyd's insurance and reinsurance broker Alsford Page & Gems (APG) on a private equity backed management buyout (MBO).

The MBO will see staff holding 28% of the total shareholding with the remaining 72% being held by Australian investment firm PSC Capital.

The deal gives APG the ability to grow its independent wholesale broker business.

For more information, please contact Tania Phayre, Head of Marketing, on +44 (0)20 7264 8546 or email

HFW advises Jersey Harbours on proposed incorporation of Ports of Jersey


International law firm Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) has advised Jersey Harbours on the proposed incorporation of Jersey Airport and Jersey Harbours into a single limited company, "Ports of Jersey", which would be wholly owned by the States of Jersey.

Earlier this year, an HFW team, led by Senior Associate Matthew Gore working with Partner Alex Kyriakoulis, prepared a report for Jersey Harbours on the draft legislation, with advice and case studies relating to port incorporation programmes and concessions.

On 29 May 2014, the States of Jersey announced a public consultation in relation to the proposal, making available public consultation documents, which reproduce in part the report prepared by HFW. The consultation, which was reported by the BBC, remains open until August 2014.

Speaking about the proposal, Senior Associate Matthew Gore said: "Incorporating a port tends to speed up the decision-making process, as it will in many cases only involve the company's internal decision-making process instead of governmental approval being necessary. In turn, this limits the bureaucracy involved in decision-making, enabling the port to meet developments and market demands more efficiently and flexibly.”

HFW has a market leading ports and terminals practice, with one of the largest teams specialising in legal matters relating to the development and operation of national and international ports and terminals. The team has worked on over 100 port projects in 45 countries worldwide.

HFW advises Capita Commercial Insurance Services Limited on investment in Pardus Holdings Limited


Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) Partner Ashwani Kochhar and Associate William Reddie have advised Capita Commercial Insurance Services Limited (Capita) on a transaction to finance the start-up of Pardus Holdings Limited, by taking a minority stake.

As part of the transaction, Capita will provide business outsourcing services to managing general agent (MGA) Pardus Underwriting Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pardus Holdings Limited, which will initially write North American property insurance.

This is the third such investment Capita has made as part of its strategy of building a portfolio of minority equity stakes in insurance intermediary businesses to which it also provides business outsourcing services.

HFW also advised Capita on its previous two investments in MGAs:

  • In a deal that was widely publicised in 2013, Capita took a stake in Cobalt Insurance Holdings in order to finance the launch of Shariah-compliant MGA Cobalt Underwriting Services.
  • In March 2014, Capita took a minority stake in Infinity Agency Limited, which specialises in high net worth motor insurance.

HFW advises Genting Hong Kong on €707 million newbuild cruise ship


A team of HFW lawyers has advised Chinese Dream Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong Limited (Genting), on its newbuild cruise ship order with German shipbuilder Meyer Werft GmbH, in a deal worth €707.2 million (approx. HK$7,574 million).

The deal, which was led by Hong Kong Partner Patrick Yeung, involved HFW lawyers from both the Hong Kong and London offices. From the London office, Partner Elinor Dautlich and Senior Associate Alex Sayegh acted for Genting in negotiating the shipbuilding contract, with Partner John Forrester and Associate Gudmund Bernitz advising on the ECA-backed financing of the newbuild.

The Genting Group operates under the principal brand name of Star Cruises. Star Cruises, together with its associate company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Limited is the third largest cruise operator in the world, with a total combined fleet of 20 ships travelling to over 130 destinations, offering approximately 42,000 lower berths. Genting is listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited and is traded on the GlobalQuote of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited.

HFW Partner Patrick Yeung said of the deal: "The construction of this cruise ship is entirely in line with Genting's long-term strategy to develop its cruise business in the Asia-Pacific market. The new ship will principally serve the mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan markets, which are growing in terms of cruising."

HFW advises Penn National on Tawa Plc demerger


International law firm Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) recently advised Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Company (Penn National), a property-casualty mutual insurance company, incorporated and headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in relation to the proposed reorganisation and reduction of capital of AIM-traded Tawa Plc (Tawa) and demerger of its risk carrier business.

The reorganisation involves a transfer of Tawa's risk carrier business to Tawa Associates Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tawa, and a reduction of capital to create sufficient distributable reserves to implement the demerger of that subsidiary to Tawa shareholders.

Penn National is a contingent creditor of Tawa pursuant to a guarantee Tawa executed in favour of Penn National. The guarantee relates to a reinsurance contract between Penn National and QX Reinsurance Company Ltd (a Tawa subsidiary).

HFW advised Penn National on the Companies Act 2006 and UK Court process concerning Tawa's reduction of capital and how best to protect Penn National's rights with respect to the reduction of capital and demerger as a contingent creditor of Tawa's. As a result of presenting Penn National's concerns to Tawa in the lead up to the final court hearing on 26 March 2014, HFW was able to have Penn National’s concerns successfully resolved and reasonably reduce the potential impact of the reduction of capital and demerger for certain other creditors of Tawa.

HFW's team was led by Corporate Partner James Lewis with the assistance of Simon Congdon (Litigation Partner), Alison Proctor (Litigation Associate) and Laura Jones (Corporate Associate).

HFW advises Capita on investment in Infinity Agency


Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) Partner Ashwani Kochhar and Associate William Reddie have advised Capita Commercial Insurance Services Limited (Capita) on the purchase of a minority stake in managing general agent (MGA) Infinity Agency Limited, which specialises in high net worth motor insurance.

The investment is the latest step in Capita's strategy of building a portfolio of minority equity stakes in insurance intermediary businesses to which it also provides business outsourcing services.

HFW also advised Capita on its first investment in an MGA. In a deal that was widely publicised in 2013, Capita took a stake in Cobalt Insurance Holdings in order to finance the launch of Shariah-compliant MGA Cobalt Underwriting Services.

Global reinsurance intermediary Aon Benfield ReSolutions advised Infinity and acts as its broker. Infinity's capital is provided by Markerstudy, a specialist motor insurer.

HFW advises on private equity mining exit


International law firm Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) has advised Australian private equity house Pacific Road Capital on the English law aspects of its disposal of portfolio company Mantle Diamonds Limited (Mantle).

Mantle is a private UK-based diamond mining and exploration company with projects at varying levels of exploration and development in Botswana, Canada and Finland. Under the terms of the deal, which completed following receipt of Botswana Competition Authority approval, 100% of the shares in Mantle were sold to Kimberley Diamonds Ltd (KDL), a listed mineral resources mining and exploration company headquartered in Sydney, Australia. The shareholders in Mantle received approximately 13.5 million new ordinary KDL shares. Mantle’s majority shareholders, being funds managed or advised by Pacific Road Capital, will now have an overall stake of just over 10% in KDL.

The HFW team was led by Partner Alex Kyriakoulis and included Senior Associate Spencer Gold and Associates Carolyn Ang and Flora Stewart. Rory Gogarty, HFW's Pacific Road Capital relationship Partner, also provided specialist input.

Nick Hutton, a Partner at HFW and one of the firm's mining experts, said: "International mining M&A is a core focus of the firm and we are delighted to have been able to assist Pacific Road Capital on their latest exit, which sees them roll over their interest in Mantle into a significant stake in Kimberley Diamonds".

HFW advises on US$149 million acquisition of offshore support vessel


A team of HFW lawyers, led by Partner Paul Aston, has advised An Kang Co Ltd (BVI) on the US$149 million purchase of "Skandi Bergen", a multi-purpose DSV/ROV survey and intervention support vessel for the offshore sector.

The vessel, which is being purchased from Norwegian DOF Subsea Rederi AS, part of the DOF Subsea Group, has capacity to cover a range of offshore field operations and is equipped with 30T/10m deck crane capable of handling loads in water depths down to 1,100m and a helideck. On completion of the acquisition, the vessel will sail to the South China Sea, where it will be used to support various offshore projects.

HFW Partner Paul Aston commented, "We are delighted to have advised on this important transaction in the offshore sector. This is a quality vessel which will be used in the development of significant offshore projects in the South China Sea, and in other exploration and development projects where the client has interests."

The HFW team consisted of Partner Paul Aston and Associate Lucy Chen.

HFW advises Ecom Agroindustrial Corp Ltd on acquisition of Armajaro Trading Ltd


A Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) team of commodities, corporate and competition lawyers, led by Partner Alistair Mackie, is advising long-term client Ecom Agroindustrial Corp. Ltd (Ecom) on its acquisition of Armajaro Trading Ltd (Armajaro).

The transaction brings together two highly regarded companies focused on the sourcing and supply of cocoa, coffee and sugar on a global basis and as a result, creates a combined entity with a distinguished pedigree in the supply of sustainably sourced agri-commodities.

Alistair Mackie, Head of HFW's Corporate Practice said: "I am delighted that we have been able to help our client at short notice move through what has been a very fast paced transaction and one which strengthens the supply chain position of the combined entity globally."

Brian Perrott, Head of HFW's Commodities Group commented: "We are excited to be involved in this important transaction, bringing together two well respected global commodity suppliers. Our involvement demonstrates the way we can bring together our specialist commodities sector knowledge with recognised transactional experience to the best effect, and I am extremely pleased with the result for this long-standing client."

Mark Dendle, CFO of Ecom Agroindustrial Corp Ltd commented: "I have been involved in dozens of transactions during my career and this is one of the quickest I have seen to completion. I have been most impressed with the HFW team, whose combined team of commodities, corporate and competition lawyers has shown real commercial savvy and demonstrated impressive speed of action, responsiveness and intelligence in their approach to this deal."

The HFW team comprises Partners Alistair Mackie, Brian Perrott, Richard Merrylees, Anthony Woolich, Robert Finney and Nick Hutton; Senior Associates Matthew Gore and Peter Emery; and Associates Joseph Botham, Taïs Jost, Aysha El-Kaddah and Carolyn Ang.

HFW advises COSCO on €230m investment in Piraeus Port


A multi-jurisdictional Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) team, led by Partners Henry Fung in Hong Kong and Alex Kyriakoulis in London, working with our Brussels' EU law team, is advising COSCO in relation to the proposed expansion of Pier III of the Piraeus container terminal in Greece.

Following an international tender run by the Greek government in 2008, COSCO Pacific Limited won the right to construct and operate Pier II and the eastern part of Pier III of the Piraeus container terminal for a 35-year period. The right is provided through a concession agreement entered into between COSCO Pacific, its subsidiary Piraeus Container Terminal SA (PCT) and the Piraeus Port Authority SA.

If the proposed amendments to the concession agreement are approved by the Greek Court of Audit and ratified by the Greek Parliament, PCT will construct the western part of Pier III, and further develop Pier II at an estimated overall cost of €230m. It will also construct a new oil jetty on the southern part of Pier III on behalf of Piraeus Port Authority.

In light of Greece's economic crisis, the parties have also agreed to suspend the guaranteed minimum annual payment that PCT is obliged to pay to Piraeus Port Authority under the concession agreement until Greece's GDP returns to its pre-crisis levels.

HFW Hong Kong Partner Henry Fung commented: "COSCO has been a client of HFW for a number of years, and we are delighted to have been able to field a team in Brussels to advise on EU law matters and an expert infrastructure team in London to advise on the corporate/commercial aspects of the project. It is testament to our belief that clients benefit from an integrated international law firm to manage their legal needs across different jurisdictions."

The HFW team also included Associates Winnie Leung and Eirini Roussou.

HFW advises Stanford Marine on US$300 million syndicated loan


A team of HFW lawyers, led by Partner Ian Chung, has advised Dubai-based offshore services company Stanford Marine on a US$300 million syndicated loan.

The highly complex five-year facility involved an Islamic finance tranche and a conventional finance tranche. The deal, which was secured over a fleet of 38 vessels and was oversubscribed, was arranged by a syndicate of banks, including Standard Chartered Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC, Mubadala GE Capital PJSC, Emirates NBD, Mashreq Bank PSC, Noor Islamic Bank and Barwa Bank.

The HFW team comprised Partner Ian Chung and Associate Emma Cummings. Other advisers included Dentons for the lending syndicate.

Earlier this year, Stanford Marine's original US$200 million finance package was awarded Offshore Deal of the Year 2012 by Marine Money Offshore. HFW advised Stanford Marine on that deal also.

HFW advises Greek Government on EUR 400 million sale of gas utility company to SOCAR


Energy specialist firm HFW has advised the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund on the privatisation of the Greek national gas transmission system operator, DESFA.

The disposal of the Greek State's stake in DESFA is part of the multi-billion privatisation programme being implemented by the Greek Government.

DESFA is the regulated Greek gas utility that runs the natural gas system, including over 1,200 kilometres of main and branch pipelines. It also operates the country's only LNG terminal on the island of Revythoussa, which positions Greece as an important energy transit country between the East and the West.

Under the terms of the transaction, State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) will acquire a 66% stake in DESFA from the Fund and Hellenic Petroleum (the latter has a 35% interest in DESFA) for an aggregate purchase price of EUR 400 million. The Greek State will retain the remaining 34% in DESFA.

The HFW team was led by Alex Kyriakoulis, who advised the Fund on the M&A aspects of the privatisation. The privatisation, which is subject to various conditions, was conducted as an international tender and is an important milestone in the Greek Government's efforts to rebuild the Greek economy following the debt crisis.

Alex Kyriakoulis commented "We are delighted to have advised the Fund on this long-running and complex transaction, which together with the recently announced decision in relation to the transportation of the Shah Deniz II gas via the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) are very significant developments for Greece and the Southern Gas Corridor generally."

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