24 November 2017
Clifford Chance advises PFA and PKA on c. £2bn acquisition of world's largest wind farm
International law firm Clifford Chance has advised PFA and PKA, two of Denmark's leading pension funds, on their acquisition of a joint 50% interest (25% each) in the 659MW Walney Extension offshore wind project, for approximately £2 billion.
The project is being constructed by Ørsted, formerly known as DONG Energy, in the Irish Sea and is expected to be fully commissioned in the second half of 2018, at which point it is expected to be the world's largest offshore wind farm.
As part of the transaction, the joint holding company owned by PKA and PFA has issued rated project bonds to institutional investors, many of which manage UK pension and insurance fund capital. This is the first bond issuance to finance an offshore wind farm under construction in the UK. The finance package also includes institutional loans, both fixed rate and CPI-linked, a commercial bank facility and hedging.
This transaction builds on Clifford Chance's long-standing involvement in offshore wind, including acting on the first financed offshore wind projects in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands (and across both disaggregated and EPC procurement structures), and now also advising on the first offshore wind projects in Asia as well as further projects in other European jurisdictions.
A London based team advised on all aspects of the transaction, including corporate, financing, construction, operations and maintenance, and power purchase documentation. The team was led by James Pay and included partners Clare Burgess (who led on the financing aspects), David Metzger, Paget Dare Bryan, Alis Pay and Nick Mace.