Magic circle duo take lead roles as E.ON and RWE agree €43bn asset swap deal

Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Hengeler Mueller are all advising on E.ON’s €43bn (£38bn) deal to acquire a controlling stake in renewable energy business Innogy from German rival RWE.

The deal has been structured as an asset swap, with E.ON acquiring Innogy’s regulated energy networks and customer operations, and RWE taking on the renewables businesses of both E.ON and Innogy, as well as a 16.7% stake in E.ON.

Linklaters is taking the lead role for E.ON, fielding a team led by Duesseldorf corporate partners Ralph Wollburg and Staffan Illert.

Freshfields is understood to be advising RWE, with a team comprising corporate partners Andreas Fabritius and Tobias Larisch, and competition partner Ulrich Scholz.

Leading German firm Hengeler, meanwhile, is acting for Innogy. The firm’s team is being led by corporate partners Andreas Austmann, Matthias Hentzen and Hartwin Bungert, antitrust partner Christoph Stadler and public law partner Vera Jungkind.

Hengeler also advised RWE and Innogy on the latter’s 2016 listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Last year, Hengeler and Freshfields took lead roles on the merger of Npower and SSE’s UK retail operations, a deal that created a new independent British retail energy company part-owned by Npower parent Innogy. Hengeler advised Innogy alongside best friend firm Slaughter and May, while Freshfields acted for SSE.

RWE’s original acquisition of Innogy in 2002 handed a lead role to Allen & Overy, with Linklaters advising Innogy.