Linklaters recognises the special challenges relevant to the control of economic power in utility and other regulated businesses.
Our regulatory and competition team is at the cutting edge of regulatory developments, advising clients, regulators and governments in the gas, electricity, telecoms, water and rail industries. The team has advised on price controls, market access and liberalisation for utilities companies, as well as on the regulatory issues arising in the context of mergers and acquisitions and financing/restructuring transactions.
On the regulatory side we have been involved in many major privatisations, either acting for Governments or for the privatised entities. In addition to assisting in designing and putting into place the regulatory frameworks, we have subsequently been involved in the development of those regulatory structures and interplay between the sectoral regulators and the regulated utilities subsequent to privatisation. We have developed significant expertise in the areas of economic regulation, quality regulation, licence enforcement and value creation.
This background enables us to provide cutting edge advice on regulatory issues specific to these sectors including:
- securing regulatory consents/approvals in the context of M&A activity
- securing successful outcomes in relation to complex merger investigations
- advising in relation to re-financings and securitisations
- advising in relation to regulatory investigations
- advising on transaction structures that minimise regulatory risks and scrutiny
We are also at the forefront of the convergence of regulatory practice and the application of competition law.
Recent transactions include advising
- GDF Suez on the EU and global merger clearances required for its acquisition of International Power, creating the world’s largest energy and utility company
- Centrica on the merger control aspects of its joint venture with EDF, under the terms of which it acquired a 20% stake in British Energy
- Centrica in relation to the merger clearances required for its acquisition of Rough Storage
- Southern Water in relation to its regulatory proceedings involving UK regulator Ofwat and the SFO.