DLA wins Africa role for BP on latest asset sale

DLA Piper has won a role on BP’s sale of stakes in several fuel marketing businesses in southern Africa to Puma Energy for $296m (£190m), reports The Am Law Daily.

The UK top 10 firm is advising Puma, which is a unit of London-based Trafigura, the world’s third-largest independent oil trader.

The firm’s team is headed up by project finance and infrastructure partner Charles Morrison, who is leading his firm’s drive to expand its influence in Africa.

This year DLA forged a strategic partnership with Kenyan firm Iseme Kamau & Maema and also launched the Juris East Africa alliance with several other regional firms.

A BP spokesman declined to name its legal advisers on the deal. The oil giant has turned to several different firms in recent months for asset sales in Argentina, Colombia, the Gulf of Mexico, and Canada, Egypt, and the US, as the company seeks to raise nearly $30bn (£19bn) to meet rising cleanup and legal costs from the Deepwater Horizon disaster earlier this year.

The deal comes at the same time as ExxonMobil announced that it is to sell western Canada oil and gas properties to Calgary-based Husky Energy for $841m (£540m).

Husky, Canada’s third-largest oil production and refining company, is owned by entities controlled by Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong billionaire whose Cheung Kong Infrastructure business this July completed a £5.8bn deal to acquire EDF’s UK electricity networks.

A Husky spokesman said that the transaction was handled by in-house lawyers for both companies.

The Am Law Daily is a US affiliate title of Legal Week.