Linklaters and CMS reprise lead roles as National Grid sells £1.2bn stake in gas distribution business

Linklaters has reprised its lead role opposite CMS on National Grid’s £1.2bn sale of its remaining 25% stake in the UK’s biggest gas distribution business to a consortium of international investors.

National Grid is selling the stake in Cadent Gas – formerly known as known as National Grid Gas Distribution – to the Quadgas consortium, which is led by Macquarie Bank and Allianz Capital Partners, on the back of the sale of a 61% stake in the business in December 2016.

Cadent Gas, which rebranded last year, supplies about 11 million properties around England via 131,000 kilometres of pipelines.

Linklaters is acting for National Grid with a team led by global infrastructure co-head and corporate partner Jessamy Gallagher, who worked alongside fellow corporate partner Roger Barron on the previous stake sale in 2016, which valued the business at £13.8bn.

CMS is once again advising the Quadgas consortium with a team led by corporate co-head Charles Currier and corporate partner Sandra Rafferty, with support from competition partner Brian Sher and energy partner Munir Hassan.

Both Linklaters and CMS are part of National Grid’s panel, which was renewed for an additional two years in 2017.

Other firms that took roles on the 2016 deal include Clifford Chance, which advised the investor consortium alongside CMS, and Evershed Sutherland, which worked in tandem with Linklaters. However, neither firm were involved in the latest deal.

Looking back on the 2016 stake sale, National Grid deputy general counsel Mark Noble, who has since joined engineering company Renishaw as interim general counsel and company secretary, told Legal Week: “Every transaction has its fun and games, but this was certainly one of the most challenging of my career.”

Last year Linklaters took away a British Legal Award for its work on the deal.