Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, Nord/LB and NRW.BANK in their roles as Arrangers on the financing of the acquisition of nearly 63 percent of the shares in E.ON Westfalen Weser AG by Westfalen Weser Energie GmbH & Co. KG.
The acquiring company is owned by 48 municipalities in the German region of East Westphalia Lippe and South Lower Saxony and the total investment exceeds €500 million. The financing was implemented with the substantial involvement of the development banks KfW and NRW.BANK and refinanced with development loans.
The goal of the acquisition is to re-municipalise about 31,500km of power lines and about 4,000km of gas pipelines operated by E.ON Westfalen Weser AG in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony. E.ON Westfalen Weser also supplies gas, electricity and drinking water, is headquartered in Paderborn and employs around a thousand people.
"The financing transaction had a specific feature consisting of the guarantees provided by the municipalities which primarily served the purpose of optimising the financing costs," said Hamburg-based partner Florian Degenhardt, who led the White & Case team which advised the banking syndicate.
"We had to consider both the requirements of zero risk weight attribution to ensure capital adequacy relief for the banks and the issues arising under municipality law and state aid law. Moreover, we managed to successfully implement the financing ideas of the project parties involved within a tight timeline."
The White & Case team was led by Hamburg-based partner Florian Degenhardt and included local partner Matthias Bochum and associate Matthias Grigolet (all Bank Finance). They were supported, from the Berlin office, by partner Prof. Dr. Norbert Wimmer, associates Dr Conrad Seiferth and Dr. Martin Weber (all Public Law) and counsel Christoph Arhold (European Competition Law) as well as Hamburg-based partner Dr Matthias Stupp, associate Dr Menso Englelmann (both Corporate) and local partner Dr Justus Herrlinger (Antitrust).
For more information please speak to your local media contact.