HSF helps Australian company unload gas assets to Chinese-led consortium

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Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) is advising AGL Energy as it unloads its North Queensland gas assets to a Chinese-Australian consortium.

AGL, a long-time client of HSF, is selling its 50% stake in the Moranbah Gas Project Joint Venture, its 50% interest in the North Queensland Energy Joint Venture, and its participation rights in the ATP1103 exploration license located in the Bowen Basin.

AGL did not disclose financial details of the deal. The sale comes after AGL announced in February of last year that it would exit gas exploration and production after oil and gas prices plunged. The company wrote down $640m with the announcement, but said recently that the sale of its North Queensland gas assets will not result in further impairment charges.

HSF’s team, which is working closely with Julia Macdonald, AGL’s senior legal counsel, is led by partner Rob Merrick. He is being assisted by special counsel Jau-Shi Liew, partner Andrew McLean, associate Claire Russo, graduates Kai Low and Jasper Johnson.

“We have advised AGL in relation to these assets since the company first acquired its interests in the MGPJV in 2006 and the NQEJV in 2007,” Merrick said.

Recently, HSF advised AGL, part-owner of the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF), on its deal for Australia’s largest wind farm. King & Wood Mallesons, Allens, and Ashurst were also involved in that deal.

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