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Herbert Smith Freehills advises China's United Photovoltaics on acquisition of UK solar farms

27 September 2016 | Hong Kong/London
News – By Hilary Lau


Leading global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has advised China's United Photovoltaics Group Limited on the acquisition of six solar farms in the United Kingdom. 

The solar farms are located in the UK counties of Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Cumbria and have a combined capacity of about 82.4mw.

HKEX-listed United PV is a leading investor and operator focusing on photovoltaics power plants in China, and its single largest shareholder is China Merchants Group.

This transaction is one of the first overseas acquisitions by United Photovoltaics, and one of the first Chinese energy M&A deals completed in the UK since the Brexit vote in June.  Through this investment, United Photovoltaics intends to expand its presence in Europe.

"This is our first transaction for United Photovoltaics and one of the company's first overseas acquisitions, although we have advised other China Merchants Group companies on domestic and international deals over many years," said partner Hilary Lau.

"Our ability to advise both locally and globally, combined with our strength in solar transactions, allowed us to act as an experienced guide to United Photovoltaics on its expansion into new territories."

The Hong Kong team was led by energy partner Hilary Lau and senior associate Calvin Ho, with assistance from associates Jie Li and Helen Huang and trainee solicitors Peter Chen and Jing Jing Tong.

The team in London was led by energy partner Sarah Pollock with assistance from associate Yida Xu. Senior associate Jordan Bookman and associates Lucas Barrans and Martyn Jarvis assisted on the critical UK real estate aspects of the transaction.

About Herbert Smith Freehills

Operating from over 26 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. We provide many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including energy, natural resources, infrastructure, technology and financial services.

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