Simpson Grierson confirms role in US$578m NZ oil and gas deal

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Simpson Grierson was lead New Zealand legal adviser involved in the mega-deal between OMV and Shell.

The firm has confirmed to NZ Lawyer that it advised OMV AG and its New Zealand business, OMV New Zealand Limited, which purchased the upstream business of the global petroleum giant.

Ashurst earlier divulged its role in the deal as the lead legal adviser of Vienna, Austria-based OMV.

OMV, which operates both upstream and downstream oil and gas businesses around the world, agreed to buy Shell’s upstream business in New Zealand for US$578 (about $750m).

The assets include a 48% interest in Pohokura, the largest gas-producing field in the country, and an 83.75% interest in Maui. OMV already owned 26% or Pohokura and 10% of Maui. OMV also acquired production, storage, and transportation infrastructure of the projects.

OMV has also agreed to buy Shell’s 60.98% stake in the Great South Basin exploration block, increasing the company’s interest to 82.93%.

Partner Dave Trueman led the Simpson Grierson team, which worked with the Ashurst team and the OMV in-house legal team led by Andreas Aigner, head of M&A legal, and Matthias Allerstorfer, senior legal counsel.

OMV is a longstanding client of Simpson Grierson, which is delighted to have worked on the “landmark transaction,” Trueman said.

The Simpson Grierson corporate partner was supported by a team of lawyers from across the firm including, tax partner Barney Cumberland, corporate partner James Hawes, and competition partner James Craig. Senior associates Aimee Sandilands (corporate), Bronwyn Heenan (employment), and Joanna Lim (superannuation) also assisted in the deal.

Simpson Grierson advised on all aspects of the transaction, including full support on New Zealand legal concerns, which spanned corporate, commercial, tax, competition and regulatory, environmental, superannuation, and employment issues.


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