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Clifford Chance advises KKR on €1.5 billion bolt-on acquisition

Telxius has agreed to acquire, from Telefonica’s subsidiary in Germany (O2 Deutschland), circa 10,100 mobile sites in Germany for €1.5 billion. The deal also includes a built-to-suit undertaking by means of which Telxius will build 2,400 new sites in Germany in the next four years so that O2 Deutschland can rapidly scale its tower footprint to meet existing obligations with the German government.

The €1.5 billion consideration will be mainly funded by a capital increase of Telxius to be subscribed by its existing shareholders. In 2017, KKR acquired a 40% stake in Telxius, Telefónica’s global telecommunications infrastructure company. The Spanish telecom giant retains an indirect controlling stake in Telxius, through a partnership with Pontegadea (Amancio Ortega’s investment platform).

The Clifford Chance multijurisdictional team advising KKR was led from Madrid and Frankfurt by Corporate partners Javier Amantegui, Frederik Mühl and Samir Azzouzi and senior associate Jorge Martín Sainz, and included advising on: (i) Spanish law matters by Daniel García and Laura Geli, from Corporate; Rodrigo Uría and Juan Puras, from Finance; and Jaime Almenar and Octavio Canseco, from Regulatory; (ii) German law matters by Gerd Hegele, from Corporate; Dennis Blechinger and Amrei Fuder, from Real Estate; and Dimitri Slobodenjuk, from Regulatory; and (iii) Luxembourg law matters by Christian Kremer, Mélissa Kdyem and Nina Aymé, from Corporate; and Marc Mehlen, Veronika Kaszas and Tjasa Perger, from Finance.

Clifford Chance adds Sharis Pozen to Wider Leadership Group

Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has today announced that Sharis Pozen has joined the firm’s global leadership team.

Pozen is is the co-head of the firm’s global Antitrust group. She has extensive experience in both government and private practice. Over the course of her career, Pozen has held senior positions at General Electric, the US Department of Justice and the US Federal Trade Commission. She joined the firm as partner in May 2019.

Pozen now sits on Clifford Chance’s Wider Leadership Group (WLG) which includes the heads of the firm’s global practice areas, as well as the members of the firm’s Executive Leadership Group (ELG), Clifford Chance’s top strategic decision-making body.

Matthew Layton, Clifford Chance Managing Partner offers, “Given Sharis’ exceptional legal skills and broad leadership experience, we’re excited to bring her perspectives to our leadership group as we execute our strategy and plan for the future. With her addition, we continue to see the diversity of this group grow. Such variety of voices and perspectives only strengthens our firm, and this is equally true at leadership level. I very much look forward to collaborating with Sharis over the coming years.”

The WLG undertakes two formal reviews of the firm’s strategy each year. Pozen will join these meetings, as well as other relevant ELG sessions, including those hosted by the Americas. She will serve a term of two years.

Pozen has also been appointed to Clifford Chance’s Americas Management Committee, which is responsible for strategic and business planning, operational performance and financial management of the firm in the Americas region.

Advisory firm Avonhurst boosts practice with associate hires

Avonhurst today announced four new associate hires, cementing the rapid growth that has characterised its first year. Senior associate Joshua Swerner joins the firm from Linklaters, where he spent time in the London and Moscow offices; Tanya Macrae joins from Allen & Overy (Brussels and London) and has worked at both Latham & Watkins and Herbert Smith Freehills; Oliver Elsaesser joins as an associate from Paul Hastings and Katja Loncaric joins from the London office of Norton Rose Fulbright, having previously worked in Clifford Chance’s Frankfurt office.

Avonhurst is a political risk and legal advisory firm dedicated to representing sophisticated capital. Since its launch in July 2019 by founding partner Jonathan Bloom, the firm has attracted a raft of established talent, including seven partner hires – mostly from magic circle firms – as well as hiring four leading figures from the political, financial and legal sectors as senior advisers, including Lord (Gavin) Barwell, tech entrepreneur Sean West, General, the Lord (Nick) Houghton, Blackstone’s Andrew Dowler and Tina Fordham (Partner and Head of Global Political Strategy), formerly of Citigroup.

These have been complemented by the additions of high yield specialist Albert Aharonian (previously at Milbank, Paul Hastings and Sidley Austin), and political expert Jessica Turner who is a US lawyer having joined out of law school and has extensive experience including working on Capitol Hill, Washington DC and at the House of Commons in London.

Jonathan Bloom, Chief Executive of Avonhurst, comments: “We are delighted to welcome Joshua, Tanya, Oliver and Katja to the firm. While we are justifiably proud of our ability to attract established partner talent, we recognise that our long-term sustainability as a leading adviser to sophisticated capital clients requires excellence at every level. We are committed to attracting, nurturing and growing the very best associates.

“Our new hires bring valuable UK and international experience in corporate, antitrust, leveraged, export credit, trade and asset-backed finance, financial services and capital markets, honed at some of the biggest and best law firms in the world. They will work alongside our market-leading partners and advisers to ensure our clients get top-level service across legal, legislative and political advisory, and capital services.”

Continued

Launched in 2019, Avonhurst is dedicated to meeting the changing needs of sophisticated capital by providing a bespoke offering comprising legal advisory, political strategy and capital services. A group of market-leading founders and influencers from the legal world have created a revolutionary advisory business dedicated to helping funds, capital providers, corporate borrowers and issuers, and secured lenders, navigate the complexities of ever-changing markets.

Clifford Chance advises Shuanghuan on latest acquisition

Clifford Chance has advised China-based auto component producer Zhejiang Shuanghuan Driveline Machinery Co., Ltd (Shuanghuan) on the acquisition of a majority share in German gearbox and auto component manufacturer Schmiedetechnik Plettenberg GmbH & Co. KG and Werkzeugtechnik Plettenberg GmbH & Co. KG. German VVP Vermögensverwaltung Plettenberg GmbH & Co. KG is selling its 81 percent of its shares in both companies. Upon closing of the transaction the Chinese investor will inject further capital into the group and thereby increase its shareholding.

Schmiedetechnik Plettenberg and Werkzeugtechnik Plettenberg are engaged in R&D, manufacturing, and sale of metal mold and precision molding parts for the automotive and construction machinery sectors.

Zhejiang Shuanghuan Driveline Co., Ltd., a listed company based in Hangzhou, China, produces and sells gears and shafts. The company’s products are widely used in the fields of inter alia cars, electric cars, high-speed rail traffic, electric tools and industrial robots. By acquiring the German gear manufacturers, Shuanghuan is accelerating its international development and further expanding its European business.

The Clifford Chance team advising Shuanghuan on the acquisition comprised partner Nicole Englisch and associate Sebastian Lahner, senior associate Nico Basener, associate Annika Ascher (all Corporate/M&A, Munich), counsel Dimitri Slobodenjuk and senior associate Caroline Scholke (both Antitrust, Dusseldorf), partner Claudia Milbradt, counsel Florian Reiling and senior associate Nicolas Hohn-Hein (all IP, Düsseldorf), partner Ines Keitel, senior associate Christopher Fischer (both Frankfurt) and associate Mario Maier (Munich, all Employment), partner Mathias Elspaß, senior associate Philipp Büsch and associate Felix Feldmann (all Corporate/Public Law, Düsseldorf), partner Christian Keilich (Frankfurt), counsel Dennis Blechinger and foreign lawyer Marion Dalvai (both Munich, all Real Estate), partner Barbara Mayer-Trautmann and senior associate Jennifer Seipelt (both Acquisition Finance, Munich) and partner Olaf Mertgen and counsel Dominik Engl (both Tax, Frankfurt) as well as a team from the Clifford Chance office in Shanghai lead by partner Glen Ma and including counsel Richard Cui (both Corporate/M&A).

Clifford Chance listed 19th in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers

International law firm Clifford Chance has been ranked 19th in this year’s Stonewall Top 100 Employers List for 2020 – the sixth highest law firm in the list.

Now in its 16th year, the list celebrates the pioneering efforts and commitments of leading organisations to LGBT workplace inclusion. This year’s list, which was the largest ever with 503 employers entering, was developed using submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a powerful benchmarking tool used by employers to create inclusive workplaces.

Toby Horner, Co-Chair of Clifford Chance’s LGBT+ & Allies Network ARCUS, said: “This result reflects our inclusion efforts at every stage from entry level recruitment through to reverse mentoring members of our Executive Leadership Group. Collaboration is core to our work and we have focused more than ever on our LBT strategy – an area which can often be overlooked. Whilst we still have steps to take to represent the full spectrum of LGBT diversity within the firm, we are committed to keeping our foot on the pedal and removing barriers wherever possible.”

Michael Bates, Clifford Chance UK Managing partner, comments: ”We are delighted that our commitment to maintaining an inclusive environment for our people has been recognised in this year’s Stonewall index. However, we cannot afford to be complacent. We know that there is more work and campaigning to be done to provide a workplace and society where people can be their full authentic selves, without fear of exclusion or discrimination.”

Clifford Chance’s inclusion in the index complements the firm’s extensive portfolio of global LGBT initiatives including: the ARCUS reverse mentoring scheme with the firm’s senior management team; the annual Pride Art exhibition that celebrates LGBT pride and fosters diversity and inclusion; and the commissioning of the largest piece of research on LGBT wellbeing with Trendence, Deutsche Bank, the University of York and National Student Pride.

Further information on Clifford Chance’s commitment to LGBT+ rights and equality can be found in its annual Responsible Business Report, which the firm publishes in accordance with the United Nations Global Compact.

If you would like to find out more information, please visit: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/

Infrastructure new PHOTO

National Infrastructure Awards winners announced

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) has announced the winners of the 2019 National Infrastructure Awards.

Convened annually, the Awards recognise excellence in public administration and business, across major projects.

The Awards were overseen by an independent judging panel, comprising:

  • Ms Leilani Frew, Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Project and Financing Agency (Chair)
  • Ms Kim Curtain, Interim Deputy Secretary, Trade, Tourism, Investment and Precincts, NSW Treasury
  • Dr Steven Kennedy PSM, Secretary, Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
  • Mr Jason Loos, Director, Department of Treasury and Finance, Victoria
  • Mr Neil Scales, Director-General, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads

The winners and finalists for each category in the 2019 Awards are as follows:

Project of the Year: Westconnex

Winner/s: NSW Treasury and Transport for NSW (Roads and Maritime Services) and their advisors Allens, Ashurst, BIS Oxford Economics, Clayton Utz, GHD, Goldman Sachs, Newgate Australia, Turner & Townsend, and PwC. Sydney Transport Partners (Transurban, AustralianSuper, Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, and Tawreed Investments) and their advisors; Advisian, Aquasia, Clifford Chance, EY, E3 Advisory, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills, King & Wood Mallesons, KPMG, Macquarie Capital, Morgan Stanley, UBS, and WSP.

Finalists:

  • Canberra Light Rail – ACT Government (Transport Canberra) and their advisors; Arup, Clayton Utz, EY, HASSEL Studio, RPS Group, Sparke Helmore, Turner & Townsend, and WSP. Canberra Metro Consortium (Aberdeen Infrastructure Investments, CPB Contractors, John Holland, Mitsubishi Corporation, MUFG, Pacific Partnerships and UGL) and their advisors; AECOM, Architectus, CAF, Herbert Smith Freehills, R-Co, and SMEC.
  • Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project – The Alliance (comprising of Aurecon, CPB Contractors, Lendlease, Metro Trains Melbourne, WSP), Arcadis, Level Crossing Removal Project, and Major Transport Infrastructure Program.
  • Wentworth to Broken Hill Pipeline – GHD, Jacobs, John Holland, MPC Kinetic, TRILITY, and WaterNSW

Advisory Excellence Award: Sydney Metro Martin Place integrated development

Winner/s: Advisors to Transport for NSW; Ashurst, CBRE, KPMG. Advisors to Macquarie Group; Herbert Smith Freehills, Macquarie Capital, MinterEllison, PwC, and Arup.

Finalists:

  • Infrastructure Victoria’s Advice on Automated and Zero Emissions Vehicles Infrastructure – Infrastructure Victoria
  • Sydney Metro Northwest OTS – Turner and Townsend
  • WestConnex Transaction – Advisors to the NSW Government; Allens, Ashurst, BIS Oxford Economics, Clayton Utz, GHD, Newgate Australia, PwC, and Turner & Townsend. Advisors to Sydney Transport Partners; Advisian, Clifford Chance, EY, E3 Advisory, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills, King & Wood Mallesons, KPMG, and WSP

Financial Excellence Award: Westconnex transaction

Winner/s: Financial Advisors to the NSW Government; Goldman Sachs, and NSW Treasury. Financial Advisors to Sydney Transport Partners; Aquasia, Macquarie Capital, Morgan Stanley, and UBS.

Finalists:

  • Agribo, Centre for Agribioscience Refinancing – Plenary Group
  • for Darling Harbour Live Refinancing – Capella Capital
  • Kwinana Waste to Energy – Macquarie Capital

Government Partnership Excellence Award: The Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project

Winner/s: The Alliance (comprising of Aurecon, CPB Contractors, Lendlease, Metro Trains Melbourne, WSP), Level Crossing Removal Project, and Major Transport Infrastructure Program.

Finalists:

  • Canberra Light Rail – ACT Government (Transport Canberra), and Canberra Metro Consortium (Aberdeen Infrastructure Investments, CPB Contractors, John Holland, Mitsubishi Corporation, MUFG, Pacific Partnerships and UGL)
  • Metro Tunnel Project: Rail Projects Victoria and PwC Indigenous Consulting Partnership – PwC’s Indigenous Consulting and Rail Projects Victoria
  • Sydney Metro Martin Place Integrated Station Development – Macquarie Group, Sydney Metro, Transport for NSW

Contractor Excellence Award: Wentworth to Broken Hill pipeline

Winner/s: John Holland and MPC Kinetic

Finalists:

  • Bruce Highway Boundary Road Interchange – BMD Constructions
  • Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project – CPB Contractors and Lendlease
  • M80 Ring Road Upgrade: Sunshine Avenue to Calder Freeway – Fulton Hogan

Operator and Service Provider Excellence Award: TasWater for the Regional Towns Water Supply Program – Stages 2 and 3

Winner/s: KBR, TasWater, and TRILITY

Finalists:

  • Queensland Schools Project – Plenary Schools Consortium (Plenary Group, DeltaFM and Watpac) and Queensland Department of Education
  • Incident Management Response – Transurban and Ventia

Innovation Excellence Award: uninterruptible power supply for Melbourne’s railway signalling network

Winner/s: AECOM, AEG, Metro Trains Melbourne, Public Transport Victoria, and Thycon

Finalists:

  • Dynamic Speed Management Trial – Transurban and VicRoads
  • Kwinana Waste to Energy – Acciona, Dutch Infrastructure Fund, Keppel-Seghers, Macquarie Capital, Phoenix Energy Australia, and Veolia
  • M80 Ring Road Upgrade: Sunshine Avenue to Calder Freeway – Cowri and Fulton Hogan

In addition, John Holland’s Simon Lehman won the Future Infrastructure Leader of the Year Award. Infrastructure Partnerships Australia said that Mr Lehmans’ profile stood out to the judging panel amongst all the other entries because of his extraordinary commitment to the infrastructure sector.

The judges found that Mr Lehman has proven to be a major asset and path-breaking engineer for the John Holland rail team. His on-the-job mentoring of younger team members and his exceptional work at the forefront of infrastructure delivery was exemplary.

Moreover, Major Road Project Victoria’s Alexis Davidson won the Award for Women’s Achievement in Infrastructure.

Ms Davidson has had a long and successful career in infrastructure over the last two decades. The judging panel said they were particularly impressed by her strong leadership and mentorship of other female engineers in the sector.

The judges praised Ms Davidson for consistently delivering outstanding business cases for Major Road Project Victoria and developing an impressive reputation for her innovative thinking and professionalism as a female engineer at the forefront of infrastructure delivery.