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27 Apr 2009

Clayton Utz advises on sale of Roaring 40s Asian assets

Melbourne, 27 April 2009: Clayton Utz has advised leading renewable energy business and long-standing client Hydro Tasmania on the strategic sale of its Roaring 40s* China wind farm portfolio to its joint venture partner China Light and Power (CLP).

The A$132.20 million sale reached financial close on 24 April.

Clayton Utz corporate partner Nick Miller, who led the transaction for Hydro Tasmania with support from senior associate Sam Cottell and lawyer Ying Dai, said following the sale Roaring 40s would focus on emerging renewable energy growth opportunities in Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Miller said the cross-border nature of the deal and the current economic climate created a number of challenges which the transaction team was able to successfully negotiate.

"The deal tested our ability to negotiate a cross-border transaction in the current circumstances with a risk-averse buyer in a foreign jurisdiction which involves uncertain regulatory issues," he said.

Mr Miller said regulatory uncertainty was a key issue in negotiations, with the renewable energy market in the People's Republic of China still in an early stage of development.

"A number of complex issues arose including electricity regulatory issues in the People's Republic of China, structuring of the sale and amending the existing joint venture arrangements in light of the new focus of the joint venture," he said.

Roaring 40s will continue to operate in Australia as a 50-50 joint venture between Hydro Tasmania and CLP.

Mr Miller led the Clayton Utz team that advised Hydro Tasmania on the initial establishment of the Roaring 40s joint venture in 2005, as well as its acquisition in 2007 of Momentum Energy Pty Ltd, a green power electricity retailer in Victoria.

 

*Roaring 40s Renewable Energy Pty Ltd was established in 2005 as a 50-50 joint venture between Hydro Tasmania and the CLP Group and has a portfolio of wind farm developments in Australia, China and India.

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.