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23 June 20216 minute read

DLA Piper advises BASF on the acquisition of 49,5% stake in offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust Zuid from Vattenfall

DLA Piper has advised BASF on the acquisition of 49,5% of Vattenfall’s offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust Zuid in The Netherlands. The purchase price amounts to EUR300 million and takes into account the achieved status of the project. Including BASF’s contribution to fund the wind farm construction, BASF’s total commitment in this project amounts to around EUR1.6 billion. Closing of the transaction is expected in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to the approval of the relevant authorities. Offshore construction of the wind farm will start in July 2021.

Once fully operational, the wind farm will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world with 140 wind turbines and a total installed capacity of 1.5 Gigawatt. The Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm will also be the first fully merchant offshore wind farm in the world which does not receive any price subsidies for the power produced. The project is expected to become fully operational in 2023. BASF is acquiring the electricity from the wind farm for its ownership share through a long-term power purchase agreement. It will enable BASF to implement innovative, low-emission technologies at several of its production sites in Europe.

BASF aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by the year 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. One important lever to further bring down emissions is replacing fossil-based electricity with fossil free electricity. BASF will secure the required amounts of renewable power through a “make and buy” approach. This includes the intention to bring in financial co-investors to this project allowing for an efficient use of capital.

“We are grateful to the international DLA Piper team around Ben and Carlos for having provided excellent legal advice to BASF on yet another highly strategic and complex cross-border transaction and for having worked again in a fully integrated manner with the BASF Legal and M&A teams”, says Matt Lepore, General Counsel of BASF SE.

The international DLA Piper team was jointly led by partners Dr Benjamin Parameswaran (Hamburg) and Carlos Robles y Zepf (Frankfurt, both Corporate/M&A). The core team also included partners Michael Cieslarczyk (Energy Law, Cologne), Dr Wolfram Distler (Finance and Projects) and Semin O (Antitrust, both Frankfurt), counsel Dr Philipp Clemens (Corporate/M&A, Hamburg), Sergej Bräuer (Frankfurt) and Dr Enno Ahlenstiel (both Antitrust) as well as senior associates Christopher Ollech (Energy Law, Cologne) and Friederike Rickers (Corporate/M&A, Hamburg).

Also involved were from the Amsterdam office partners Richard Fens (Corporate) and Gerard Kneppers (Finance and Projects) as well as lawyers Laura Smit (Corporate), Martijn van Wanroij, Arjen de Snoo (both Litigation and Regulatory) and Marijn van der Wal, from the Leeds office partner Natasha Luther-Jones and associates Sophie Linnell and Tom Metcalfe (all Finance and Projects), from the London office partner Sarah Thomas (Real Estate) and from the office in Vienna partner Andreas Gunst and senior associate Kenneth Wallace-Müller (both Finance and Projects).

The in-house legal team at BASF for this transaction was led by Dr Georg Franzmann and Dr Stefan Rothweiler and further included Dr. Holger Pattberg, Andrea Schreiber, Tarec Alio, Stephan Purps and Coert Becx.

Deutsche Bank under the leadership of Johannes Hermanns and Torsten Wilberg acted as investment bank for BASF on this project.