Chapman Tripp assists Eastland Group on sale of 50% stake in electricity generation business

Firm partner says Eastland Group's move helps to support NZ's renewable energy goals

Chapman Tripp assists Eastland Group on sale of 50% stake in electricity generation business
Tim Tubman

Chapman Tripp has advised Eastland Group on the sale of a 50% stake in its electricity generation business, Eastland Generation, to Japanese construction conglomerate Obayashi Corporation.

 “This is a significant step to support Eastland Group’s goal to achieve 100MW of renewable generation by 2027 and New Zealand’s long-term target of 100% of our electricity being produced from renewable sources,” commented Tim Tubman, partner at Chapman Tripp.

Eastland Group said in a press release that the deal is underpinned by an enterprise valuation for Eastland Generation that exceeds $500m. The completion of the sale is subject to approval from the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office, and the capital from this transaction is set to fund the company’s pipeline of renewable generation projects in the country.

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Eastland Group confirmed that the projects that are set to be financed by the capital raised from the deal include three geothermal generation assets in the central North Island, Te Ahi o Maui (26MW), Geothermal Developments Ltd (9MW), and TOPP1 (24MW); a hydropower station (5MW) near Wairoa; and a soon-to-be operational utility scale solar farm (5MW) in Gisborne. The raise also encapsulates Eastland Generation’s entire pipeline of development projects, such as the TOPP2 (49MW) geothermal project and the Taheke geothermal project.

“Eastland Generation and Obayashi are aligned in their values regarding environmental consciousness, relationship management, emissions targets, and dedication to sustainable energy in New Zealand,” Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd said in the company’s press release. “There is also strong strategic alignment, and we are now geared to accelerate our pipeline of projects, expand our operational capacity, and advance innovation within the renewable energy industry.”

Chapman Tripp guided Eastland Group on all aspects of the sale, including structuring, vendor due diligence, and regulatory matters. The firm also helped to negotiate transaction documentation with multiple bidders.

 Making up the firm’s core transaction team were Tubman and fellow partners Lauren Curtayne, Cathryn Barber, Tessa Baker, Hamish Bolland, and Kylie Mutch. Additional support was provided by Emma Bowman, Jeryl-Lynn Govender, and Thomas Paterson.

Eastland Group tapped Forsyth Barr as financial adviser on the deal. Tompkins Wake acted for Obayashi Corporation.

Eastland Generation owns a portfolio of renewable energy plants in North Island and specialises in geothermal and hydro generation.

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