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A&O advises Hassana on USD15.5bn landmark natural gas pipeline deal

Allen & Overy has advised Hassana Investment Company (“Hassana”), in one of the world’s largest energy infrastructure deals. Saudi Arabian Oil Company (“Aramco”) has signed a USD15.5 billion lease and leaseback deal involving its gas pipeline network with a consortium led by BlackRock Real Assets (“BlackRock”) and Hassana, the investment management arm of the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) in Saudi Arabia. 

As part of the transaction, a newly-formed subsidiary, Aramco Gas Pipelines Company, will lease usage rights in Aramco’s gas pipelines network and lease them back to Aramco for a 20-year period. In return, Aramco Gas Pipelines Company will receive a tariff payable by Aramco for the gas products that will flow through the network, backed by minimum commitments on throughput. Aramco will hold a 51% majority stake in Aramco Gas Pipeline Company and sell a 49% stake to investors led by BlackRock and Hassana.

London asset management partner MaameYaa Kwafo-Akoto said: “We’re pleased to support Hassana on this transaction which represents the largest energy infrastructure deal in the region. Our strong global network allowed us to deliver the service Hassana required.  It demonstrates the growing appetite from prominent global institutions to invest in responsibly-managed infrastructure assets”

Dubai projects and infrastructure partner Joe Clinton commented: “Natural gas has an important part to play in the energy transition of the Saudi economy, and we are very pleased to have been able to assist on this deal alongside our other work on renewables and green hydrogen in Saudi Arabia." 

Dubai Corporate partner Zeid Qursha added: "It was great to have been part of the team on this landmark transaction. The ability to pull in experts from across our global network enabled us to assist Hassana with entering into a complex transaction in a timely manner.”

The transaction is expected to close as soon as practicable, subject to customary closing conditions, including any required merger control and related approvals.

The A&O team was led by partners MaameYaa Kwafo-Akoto and John Geraghty in London and Joe Clinton and Zeid Qursha in Dubai. Support from Brussels, New York, Luxembourg and Belfast was provided across A&O’s Banking, Corporate, International Capital Markets and Tax practices.