3 firms act on major electricity joint venture

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Three firms have helped a Queensland government-owned electricity generator form a major joint venture with a private company.

Ashurst, Clayton Utz, and Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills all acted in the establishment of a new joint venture between the Queensland government’s CS Energy and Western Australia’s Alinta Energy.

Ashurst acted for CS Energy, Clayton Utz acted for Alinta, and Greenwoods acted for Alinta on tax matters.

The joint venture, which aims to deliver a two-year 25% discount to consumers in the southeast of Queensland, is expected to grow to 250,000 customers in the next few years. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that the state hopes the discounts will drive prices down.

“This joint venture is a game-changer for the Queensland electricity market,” said Tanya Denning, Ashurst’s lead partner on the deal.

Ashurst’s team also included finance partner Graeme Tucker and tax partner Geoffrey Mann.

“Throughout the transaction, there were many complex regulatory and other legal issues that arose in the retail electricity, taxation and competition areas.  Having access to the breadth of expertise offered by the Ashurst team was crucial to navigating these,” said Marc Berry, CS Energy’s legal counsel.

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