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WFW advises Velocita on two European onshore wind divestments

6 December 2016

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised Velocita Energy Developments Ltd (“Velocita”) on two significant European disposals. Funded by US private equity firm Riverstone Holdings, Velocita is a wind energy company focused on developing, constructing and operating wind projects across Europe.

The first disposal was that of two onshore wind farms in Scotland – the operational 11.5 MW Ardoch and Over Enoch project in East Renfrewshire and the construction-stage 35 MW Airies project in Dumfries and Galloway to NTR Wind 1 Fund, a vehicle backed by Irish developer NTR, Legal & General Capital, Strathclyde Pension Fund and the Irish Strategic Investment Fund.  The two wind farms are being developed, constructed and operated by 2020 Renewables, Velocita’s UK development business, which is continuing to develop projects in Scotland.

The second disposal was that of Velocita’s French business, consisting of a 14 MW operating onshore windfarm in France and its French development portfolio to Chinese turbine maker Envision Energy (“Envision”). The pipeline consists of circa 500 MW of projects at various stages of development, primarily located in eastern France near Besançon (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté). Envision is also set to acquire Velocita’s French development team.

The completion of the above disposals represent Velocita’s first sales since that of the 24 MW Maerdy windfarm in South Wales in 2014, on which WFW also advised them.

WFW acted as lead legal adviser to Velocita on both transactions, led by London Partner and Global Head of Energy & Infrastructure Evan Stergoulis and assisted by London corporate Senior Associate Richard Collinson.

In addition to Evan and Richard, the London team advising on the Scottish disposals included Partner Nick Fothergill, Associates Richard Pyke and Laura Gerrard on the corporate side and Energy & Infrastructure Senior Associate Natalie Georgiou and Associate James Quaile on financing matters. Tax advice was provided by Partner Richard Stephens and Associate Rob Firth.

For the French disposal, Evan and Richard were assisted in London by corporate Associate Danny Perera and Trainee Ee Ling Goh, with Richard Stephens and Rob Firth again providing tax advice. Senior Associate Devan Khagram advised on employment matters.

In addition to the above in London, WFW Paris Partner Arnaud Felix, Senior Associate Majda Debaghi and Associate Alban Vaqué D’Anla also advised on the French corporate aspects of the transaction.

Evan commented; “We’re delighted Velocita chose WFW to represent them on this major multi-jurisdictional double disposal, demonstrating once again our indisputable status as the go-to law firm for European renewables”.

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