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Allen & Overy advises Elia on the exercise of its pre-emption right for the acquisition of a further interest in 50Hertz and on the immediate resale to KfW

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Horn Matthias
Dr Matthias Horn


Frankfurt am Main

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27 July 2018

The listed Belgian transmission system operator Elia System Operator SA/NV (Elia) has exercised its pre-emption right regarding the remaining 20 per cent of shares in Eurogrid International CVBA (Euorgrid), the holding company of the German grid operator 50Hertz Transmission GmbH (50Hertz). Elia’s existing partner, the Australian infrastructure fund IFM Global Infrastructure Fund (IFM) has previously entered into an agreement with a third party on the sale of its remaining shares in Eurogrid. With the exercise of the pre-emption right, Elia now takes over such interest to pass it on to German Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) – thereby, the Federal Republic of Germany indirectly becomes the owner of 20 per cent of the shares in one of the four electricity network operators in Germany.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2018. The parties did not disclose the purchase price.

An international team of Allen & Overy under the leadership of Frankfurt Corporate/M&A partner Matthias Horn has advised Elia in all relevant legal areas, in connection with the exercise of the pre-emptive right vis-avis- IFM and KfW’s entry as Elia’s new partner.

In April 2018, Elia had already increased its original stake to 80 per cent by acquiring a 20 per cent stake in Eurogrid. At that time, the seller was also IFM and the acquisition was also made within the scope of exercising an existing pre-emption right. Allen & Overy also advised on this transaction.

The international Allen & Overy team included partner  Dr Matthias Horn (lead partner) and associate Matthias Diegelmann (both Corporate/M&A, both Frankfurt) as well as Dr Michiel Huizinga (Corporate/M&A), Dr Michael Ehret (Tax), Wolfgang Melzer (Banking & Finance), Dr Jürgen Schindler (Competition, Brussels), Filip Tanghe (Banking & Finance, Antwerp), Counsel Dr Udo Olgemöller (Regulatory, Frankfurt) und Mark Davis (Corporate, London), Senior Associates Marc Oliver Stock (Corporate/M&A), Marc Christ (Tax, Frankfurt) and Michael Snook (Corporate/M&A, London), Matthias Taggeselle (Corporate/M&A, Frankfurt), Benjamin Geisel (Competition), Juno Hautekiet (Corporate) and Dennis Lievens (Banking & Finance, Brussels).

Inhouse, Elia was advised by Gregory Pattou (General Counsel), Lieselot Mariën and Thierry D’hoore on the transaction.