Linklaters, Clifford Chance and CMS lead as National Grid sells stake in UK gas distribution business

 Colin-Owyang

Linklaters, Clifford Chance (CC) and CMS have secured lead roles on National Grid’s sale of a 61% stake in its UK gas distribution business to a consortium of overseas investors.

The winning consortium, selected after a competitive auction, comprises Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Allianz Capital Partners, Hermes Investment Management, CIC Capital Corporation, Qatar Investment Authority, Dalmore Capital and Amber Infrastructure Limited/International Public Partnerships, with the deal valuing the gas distribution business at £13.8bn.

Linklaters is advising National Grid with a team led by corporate partners Roger Barron and Jessamy Gallagher. Eversheds is also playing a role for National Grid on business separation aspects, with a team led by private equity partner James Trevis.

Barron said: “The deal is the result of a very competitive auction, which shows that UK infrastructure assets continue to be highly attractive even in politically slightly uncertain times.

“The deal involved support from a wide range of Linklaters practice areas, from both the corporate and the finance side.”

National Grid’s deputy group general counsel Mark Noble is leading the in-house legal team on the deal.

CMS and CC are both advising the consortium. UK head of corporate Charles Currier is the lead partner for CMS, while London corporate partner Brendan Moylan is heading up CC’s team.

Both Linklaters and CMS are part of National Grid’s panel, which was last reviewed in 2015.

Other major infrastructure deals this year include the £2bn sale of London’s City Airport to a Canadian consortium after a competitive auction process.

On that deal Slaughter and May acted for the private equity seller Global Infrastructure Partners, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters acted for the Canadian consortium.