Deals roundup

Our fortnightly round-up of deals involving Irish law firms. Submit your deals to

  • Arthur Cox and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advise Phoenix on purchase of wireless tower sites

Arthur Cox and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have advised Phoenix Tower International on a major agreement with eir to own and operate wireless tower sites.

Phoenix will purchase over 650 existing existing wireless towers and acquire over 700 newly constructed wireless towers over 8 years across Ireland through a build-to-suit programme.

Phoenix and eir have also established a long-term partnership whereby eir will occupy the sites for at least twenty years.

This transaction positions Phoenix as the largest tower infrastructure provider in Ireland, materially expands its growing footprint in Europe, and further solidifies the company’s leadership position in Europe, the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Arthur Cox team was led by corporate and M&A partner Brian O’Gorman and real estate partner Deirdre Sheehan.

  • Matheson advises Towerbrook Capital on €100m investment in B2B car rental firm

Matheson has advised international investment management firm Towerbrook Capital Partners L.P. on its €100m controlling equity investment in Dublin-based B2B car rental firm CarTrawler.

The firm, the leading B2B provider of car rental and mobility solutions to the global travel industry, said the investment would strengthen its balance sheet during a period of unprecedented disruption to the global travel market.

Corporate M&A partner Fergus Bolster led the Matheson team advising Towerbrook on the transaction, supported by finance and capital markets partner Patrick Molloy, corporate M&A senior associate John Coary, and finance and capital markets senior associate Paul Carroll.

Sidley Austin also provided legal advice to TowerBrook, and Morgan Stanley acted as their financial advisers.

  • DWF advises Dublin-based Keywords Studios on £100m placing

DWF has advised Dublin-headquartered Keywords Studios, an international technical and creative services provider to the global video games industry, on its placing to raise gross proceeds of around £100m.

The shares being issued represent approximately 10.5 per cent of the issued ordinary share capital of the company prior to the placing.

The fundraising, which was carried out by way of accelerated bookbuild, provides Keywords Studios with the flexibility to execute its acquisition strategy and maintain a strong balance sheet. Numis Securities Limited and Citigroup Global Markets Limited acted as joint bookrunners.

The DWF team was led by Birmingham-based corporate partner John Campion, alongside senior associate Jemil Visram and solicitor Eilidh Durkin.

The company also obtained US law advice from Peter Castillon and Luisa Ewing at Proskauer, Canadian law advice from Pierre Soulard at Miller Thomson and Jersey law advice from Jon Woolridge and Andrew Haslett at Mourant. The joint bookrunners were advised by Sean Geraghty and Jodie Valler-Feltham at Dechert.

Andrew Kennedy, legal counsel at Keywords Studios, said: “The placing will enable us to maintain a strong balance sheet without constraining our acquisition strategy when prospects for attractive M&A opportunities have rarely been higher. We were very pleased with the support provided by the DWF team and look forward to continue to work with them.”

  • NI: TLT advises Alpha Real Renewables on major wind acquisition

UK law firm TLT has advised Alpha Real Renewables on its entry into the Northern Ireland energy market with the acquisition of a portfolio of NIRO-accredited 250kW operational wind turbines.

The portfolio of 11 NIROC-accredited wind projects is one of the largest privately owned distributed wind portfolios in Northern Ireland.

The acquisition, completed through the Wind Renewables Income Fund, saw TLT’s clean energy specialists carry out due diligence in respect of the corporate, property, planning and commercial aspects of the transaction, and advise on the corporate transaction documents.

The TLT team was led by corporate partner Andrew Jennings and head of clean energy Maria Connolly, supported by partner Kevin Murphy, associate Grant Edwards and chartered legal executive Nick Rains. This is the fifth acquisition that TLT has advised Alpha Real Renewables on.

Ms Connolly said: “While the uncertainty around the future renewables policy in Northern Ireland might be affecting new developments, the M&A market is buoyant – particularly where investors can access a portfolio of NIROC accredited assets, like this one.

“The growth of Alpha Real Renewables’ portfolio, and the fifth acquisition that we’ve worked with them on, is representative of the wider market message – the market remains viable as we work towards achieving net zero.”

  • NI: Pinsent Masons advises Flogas Ireland on Budget Energy acquisition

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has advised Flogas Ireland, a subsidiary of DCC plc, on its entry into the Northern Ireland energy market with the acquisition of Budget Energy.

The acquisition of one of Northern Ireland’s leading electricity suppliers marks the largest investment that Flogas has made in Ireland into the growth of its energy business and will enable its expansion into the residential and commercial electricity market in Northern Ireland.

The Pinsent Masons team advising Flogas on all aspects of the acquisition was led by Leeds-based partner Andrew Kerr and Belfast-based legal director Lisa Early, with support from Danielle McKeefry, Dorian Rees, Laura McCrea and Craig Patterson.

Ms Early said: “A deep-rooted understanding of Ireland’s highly competitive energy retail sector and increasing regulatory demands enabled us to successfully bring this transaction into fruition.

“This is an extremely significant acquisition for Flogas and is closely aligned with its long term strategy to become one of Ireland’s leading all-island energy suppliers.”

The deal marks another milestone in Pinsent Masons’ long-standing relationship with DCC plc. Last year, the firm advised DCC Vital in its sale of Kent Pharmaceuticals.

  • NI: Tughans assists US cybersecurity firm on opening of Belfast centre

Commercial law firm Tughans has assisted US cybersecurity firm Cygilant on the opening of its Global Security Operation Centre in Belfast.

The new centre will provide security monitoring services to around 200 customers through a combination of automated tools and personalised advice.

Invest Northern Ireland helped the company secure its new property, and has offered £455,000 of support towards the 65 new jobs.

Tughans partner John McGuckian told Irish Legal News: “This is a significant expression of confidence in Northern Ireland, the talent of our workforce and in the work of Invest NI.

“It clearly displays that, while the economy is enduring much turbulence as a result of the COVID restrictions, companies in many sectors remain dedicated to their growth strategies and see Northern Ireland as a platform for such growth.”

  • NI: Carson McDowell advises Fibrus on acquisition by Infracapital

Carson McDowell advised the owners of fibre broadband business Fibrus on its recent acquisition by Infracapital.

Fibrus recently began an £85 million roll-out of a new gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network in Northern Ireland, which aims to cover 145,000 households by 2024.

Infracapital, the infrastructure equity investment arm of M&G Plc, previously supported the £85m investment and will draw on its experience supporting fibre roll-out in the rest of the UK.

A spokesperson for Carson McDowell said they acted as “lead legal adviser to the owners of Fibrus in connection with the transaction with Infracapital”.

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