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Herbert Smith Freehills and Linklaters advise on the purchase and sale of the largest portfolio of grid parity photovoltaic systems in Italy

16 February 2021 | Milan/London
Deals and cases

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Herbert Smith Freehills and Linklaters have advised A2A and Octopus Renewables respectively on the signing of a binding agreement for the purchase and sale of a portfolio consisting of 17 photovoltaic plants with a total rated power of 173 MW.

The asset is the largest merchant portfolio of plants in Italy, without GSE incentives, of which 9 are located in Lazio and 8 in Sardinia. Given the size of the portfolio, the operation is unprecedented in Italy.

The plants will ensure an increase of the installed capacity which will be able to produce at full capacity about 420 GWh/y of green energy, equivalent to the annual consumption of 200,000 residential customers, avoiding the emission of 2.5 million tons of CO2 overall (along the entire life cycle of the plants). The size of the individual plants and the used connection solutions to create the conditions for the use, in the near future, of technologies such as storage and hydrogen.

A2A was advised by Herbert Smith Freehills, with a team led by Milan corporate partner Lorenzo Parola and London corporate partner Sarah Pollock, alongside associates Andrea Coluzzi and Eliza Eaton. Milan-based senior associate Andrea Leonforte advised on administrative law and partner Francesca Morra advised on aspects relating to foreign direct investments. The wider team included of counsel Simone Egidi (banking law), and associates Giacomo Gavotti and Giulia Musmeci and Dr. Vanessa Nobile. Alessandra Ferrari and Lorenzo Ottaviani led the A2A legal team. IMI-Intesa Sanpaolo, KPMG and KB Development acted, respectively, as financial, tax and technical consultants to the seller.

Linklaters acted for Octopus Renewables, an operator specialised in the management of investments in the renewable energy sector and is part of the group headed by Octopus Investments Ltd. The Linklaters team was led by partner Giorgio Fantacchiotti and included managing associate Laura Belardinelli, associate Walter Campagna and trainee Marco Buffon (corporate law); managing associate Alessandro Gemmo and associates Elisa Volontè and Najwa Hamidallah (administrative law); and counsel Tessa Lee, managing associates Lucia Ciocarlan and Benedetta Marino and associates Mattia di Maggio and Guido Parisi (project contracts and banking law). The aspects relating to foreign direct investments were advised by partner Lucio D’Amario and managing associate Giorgio Valoti. Rothschild & Co and EY acted, respectively, as the seller's financial and tax advisers while Moroni & Partners managed the technical profiles of the transaction.

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