Richard Fens has over 30 years’ experience of helping major corporate clients with national and cross-border transactions.
He focuses particularly on the industrials (chemicals and manufacturing), energy (renewables and energy storage) and technology sectors, and is highly valued by clients for his commitment to the sectors and businesses in which they operate.
Richard’s practice covers mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate restructuring and advisory work.
Richard invests in fully understanding each client’s business and provides bespoke advice aligned to their needs and ways of working – on and off-matter. For many longstanding clients, he acts as boardroom counsel.
His clients have included Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), BASF, LyondellBasell, Global Energy Storage (GES), Blue Water Energy private equity, Oaktree Capital, UGI Corp, General Electric (GE), Rheem Manufacturing, Harman Technologies and Qualcomm.
Since 2001, Richard has worked on numerous corporate M&A projects for chemicals and manufacturing companies. In 2002 he was the Dutch lead counsel to Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), one of the leading global chemicals companies, on its multi-billion acquisition of the petrochemicals business DSM, with sites in the Netherlands and Germany. This included an intensive carve-out process lasting nine months.
Richard has since worked on many corporate M&A and restructuring projects for several global industrials clients, including SABIC and GE. A recent example was his role as lead counsel on the global restructuring of the high performance materials business of SABIC (which included the Netherlands) in 2019.
Another high-profile transaction in which Richard was involved, together with his German colleagues, related to BASF’s EUR1.6 billion acquisition of a 49.5% stake from Vattenfall in Hollandse Kust Zuid, one of the largest offshore wind farms in the Dutch North Sea.
Richard joined DLA Piper as a partner in the Netherlands in 2005. He has held several management roles within the firm, including location head of the Corporate Group and Country Managing Partner of the Netherlands practice from 2011 to 2015. Since 2019, Richard has been the firm's Global Co-Chair for the Industrials sector.
Richard started his career at a leading Dutch international firm and worked as off counsel for the same firm in Singapore from 1995 to 1999, focusing on M&A and infrastructure project finance work in the South East Asia region.
Richard's experience includes advising:
- Advising BASF on various transactions, including its strategic acquisition of 49.5% of Vattenfall’s Hollandse Kust Zuid in The Netherlands – one of the largest offshore wind farms in the Dutch North Sea. BASF aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and this transaction will enable BASF to implement innovative, low-emission technologies at several of its production sites in Europe, e.g. the Antwerp Verbund site (the second largest BASF Group site worldwide). 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 investment in this project amounts to c. EUR1.6 billion.
- Advising Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), one of the leading international chemicals companies, on several global M&A projects and complex business restructurings since 2002, including:
- a joint venture with Plastics Energy, which involves the realisation of a factory to produce raw materials from recycled plastics, for which Plastics Energy has developed a technology and
- the intended pre-merger carve-out of its specialties business to Clariant.
- Advising HARMAN International (the leading supplier of connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets) on the acquisition of Apostera, a Germany-based automotive technology company, to position the company at the forefront of automotive augmented reality and mixed reality experience design.
- Advising UGI International on the creation of a joint venture with SHV Energy to advance the production and use of renewable dimethyl ether (rDME). The proposed joint venture required approval by the European Commission and is intended to gain market acceptance and accelerate the use of rDME as a renewable solution for the liquefied petroleum gas industry. The aggregate investment in production capacity is estimated to be up to USD1 billion.
- Advising The TRATON Group on the formation of a joint venture with two other major OEMs to install and operate a high-performance public charging network for battery electric, heavy-duty long-haul trucks and coaches across Europe.
- Advising GE Capital, as part of a DLA Piper European team, on the sale of a significant pan-European business involving 20 European jurisdictions, China, Bermuda and the US. The sale was preceded by a complex pre-closing reorganisation.
- Advising UGI on the acquisition of the Dutch energy marketing and services company DVEP, which focuses on the sale of natural gas and electricity produced mainly from renewable sources, primarily to small and medium enterprises in the Netherlands
- Advising Global Petro Storage (GPS), an independent storage and logistics company, on the acquisition of all outstanding shares in Hydrocarbon Hotel B.V., a private Netherlands-based operator of modern gasoline storage and blending terminals located in the Port of Amsterdam.
- Advising Global Energy Storage (GES) on the acquisition of part of the Stargate Terminal from Gunvor Group in Europoort, Port of Rotterdam. Consequently, GES now owns four Class 1 product tanks totalling over 212 thousand cubic meters with long-term off-take from Gunvor. In addition, GES has acquired the rights to develop approximately 20 hectares of vacant land. Furthermore, it is pursuing expansion projects to support the Energy Transition, such as import facilities for ammonia, storage for biofuels and feedstock, chemicals, gases, and waste to fuel production.
- Advising Rheem Manufacturing Inc., the largest supplier of water heating systems in the US and Canada, in relation to its acquisition of Intergas, the largest supplier and producer of boilers in the Netherlands with subsidiaries in the UK, the US and Canada.
- Advising Berry Group, a global market-leading manufacturer of innovative plastic packaging and engineered products, on its sale of Promens Zlín, a leading European development and system supplier of large surface area exterior and interior plastic parts for buses, trucks and agricultural machinery vehicles.
- Harvard Business School, Leadership Program, 2008
- Law School Post Graduate, Securities law, 2001
- Law School Post Graduate, Financing law, 1994
- Radboud University Nijmegen, Dutch Law, cum laude, 1989
Awards and recognitions
- Acritas Star, 2019-2020
- Recommended lawyer, Commercial, Corporate and M&A, and Energy: Transactional, Netherlands, The Legal 500 EMEA 2022
Memberships And Affiliations
- Member of the Dutch Energy Association
- Member of DLA Piper’s International Diversity & Inclusion Committee
My latest insights
Global M&A Intelligence Report 2023 – Industrials sector supplement
8 November 2023 .2 minute read