DUET Group's continental drift

DUET Group's $1.9 billion acquisition of Energy Developments Ltd involved four continents, whereby the former will take over the latter's remote energy, waste coal mine gas and landfill gas businesses.
DUET Group's continental drift DUET Group's continental drift DUET Group's continental drift DUET Group's continental drift DUET Group's continental drift

Norton Rose Fulbright advised this week that its cross-border team advised DUET on the European and US aspects of its acquisition of EDL - a deal that involved lawyers from its Australian, UK, US and Greek offices working together.

DUET told the Australian Securities Exchange on July 20 that it had entered into a scheme of implementation deed with EDL, through which it would acquire 100% of EDL's shares.

Purchased through a scheme of arrangement, the acquisition was for $8 per share payable in cash.

EDL, which operates in Australia, the US and the UK/Europe, has more than 900 megawatts of installed generation capacity. It runs three business units:

  • Remote Energy - supplying remote mines and townships in regional Australia with power;
  • Waste Coal Mine Gas - utilising waste gas to supply power from high-grade metallurgical coal mines in Australia; and
  • Landfill Gas - using waste gas from landfill operations to supply power in Australia, the US, the UK/Europe.

DUET told the ASX that financial close was expected in October this year once shareholder, court and other necessary approvals were secured. To fund the deal, DUET said it had launched a fully underwritten $1.67 billion equity capital raising.

Norton Rose Fulbright partner and global head of energy Simon Currie said utilities were looking for diversification of earnings, both in Australia and globally - and EDL was "a market leader" in distributed generation and remote energy.

"This transaction reflects the move away from the traditional model of large generating units connected to pipeline and grid infrastructure, which meet the bulk of the load, to a de-centralised model where customers will often meet their requirements on-site or from local resources," Currie said.

Currie was the lead partner for the deal and was assisted by teams in Sydney, Melbourne, London, Athens and Washington DC, including partners Wasim Khan and Catrina Smith in London, Head of Power and Alternative Energy Patrick Groomes in Washington DC and partner Dimitris Assimakis in Athens.