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Asian Buyer Companies Keep Firms Busy During The Holidays
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Skadden

There will always be a certain sense a pride in those workers who are willing to work tirelessly through the holidays. And this trio of Asian-based dealers that made the news on December 23, is no exception.

In one of the transactions being done, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is advising the Chinese state-owned energy company that operates the massive Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtse River. Since it began generating power in 2008 after more than two whole decades of construction, the dam has now become the world’s largest hydroelectric power project.

  
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Based in Yichang, which is a city of roughly 4 million located near the dam, the China Three Gorges Corporation is using the profits from that project to expand its operations overseas. Reuters reported that, with an offer of $3.5 billion, the company has bested such other bidders, such as Germany’s E.ON and Brazil’s Electrobras in the competition to buy a 21 percent stake in Energias de Portugal (EDP).

The Portuguese government, which owns the Lisbon-based EDP, has been seeking to privatize part of the company to help debt-plauged Portugal cope with Europe’s economic crisis.

Skadden M&A partners, Gregory Miao and Peter Huang, are representing China Three Gorges, along with their energy and infrastructure parter, Douglas Nordlinger. Miao, who opened the Skadden Shanghai office almost four years ago, now heads the firm’s Beijing office, while Nordlinger is based down in London.

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Deheng Chen, which is a Chinese law firm with offices in Beijing and in New York, has served as general counsel to China Three Gorges since the company was established back in 1993 along with the launch of the dam project. According to the China Daily, China Three Gorges now owns a series of hydroelectric projects in its home country, the EDP deal also marks the first time a major Chinese company has played a role in the privatization of European assets.

This new deal comes on the heels of the Chinese oil giant Sinopec’s $5.2 billion purchase in the month of November of the Brazilian assets of Portuguese oil and gas company Galp Energia. Almost a year earlier, Sinopec bought a 40 percent interest in the Brazilian interest of Spanish oil giant Repsol for $7.1 billion. (Vinson & Elkins advised Sinopec in both of the transactions.) The Wall Street Journal points to the new deals and the current EDP transaction as a sign that more European energy assets could soon come on the block.



Legal advisers for the EDP were not available immediately for interviews. Antonio Pedre Alfaia de Carvalho serves as general counsel and head of the legal affairs for the EDP.

In the second dose of major deal news that was reported on December 23, embattled Internet giant Yahoo plans to unload its Asian assets to obtain a much needed cash infusion, this is according to The New York Time’s DealBook.



 

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