NRF acts as Shell acquires 49% stake in Australian utility-scale solar developer

The acquisition is a further step in the evolution of Australia’s energy market, the firm says

NRF acts as Shell acquires 49% stake in Australian utility-scale solar developer

Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) was the legal adviser of an oil and gas supermajor on its acquisition of a significant stake in an Australian utility-scale solar developer.

NRF counselled Shell in its acquisition of a 49% stake in ESCO Pacific for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition gives Shell an interest in a 1GW project pipeline, NRF said.

Martin Irwin, a Melbourne-based corporate M&A partner, jointly headed the global law firm’s team that acted on the deal. He said that the transaction “is a further step not only in evolution of Shell’s business in Australia but in the continued transformation of the Australian energy market.

Irwin led the team alongside partner Kelly Davies. The team also included partners Noni Shannon and Adrian Jones, special counsel Brett Thornton, and associate Ellen Laughton.

The acquisition of ESCO Pacific is in line with Shell’s transformation into a global integrated power business, NRF said. The company has taken steps in that direction, including in Australia.

The deal for ESCO Pacific comes on the heels of Shell’s acquisition of 100% of ERM Power, which is said to be the second-largest electricity retailer to commercial and industrial customers in Australia. Ashurst advised Shell in that deal, which was reported to be worth $617m.

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