Gowling WLG advises on £340m landmark deal for Opus Energy

08 December 2016

Gowling WLG's corporate team has advised the owners of energy supplier Opus Energy in its conditional sale to Drax Developments Limited, a member of the Drax Group, in a deal worth £340 million. The sale exchanged on 6 December and is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2017.

The acquisition will see Opus Energy form part of Drax's retail operations, in a move that will create Britain's fifth biggest non-domestic energy retailer. Stuart Young, a partner in the firm's Corporate Group, led the Gowling WLG team on this transaction.

International law firm Gowling WLG has been working with Opus Energy for more than ten years, advising on a wide range of matters including corporate transactions, major commercial agreements and a number of regulatory matters. The latest deal is the most significant for Opus Energy since its establishment in 2002. A combination of Gowling WLG's deep understanding of the highly regulated energy supply sector and its mid-market M&A execution experience meant the law firm was able to fully support the sellers throughout the sale process.

Derek Goodban commented: "We have had the pleasure of working with Opus Energy for more than a decade, and to watch it grow into the UK's leading challenger supplier in the SME market has been a privilege. The latest transaction, which underpins Gowling WLG's reputation as being able to deliver transactions at the cutting edge of the energy market, will see Opus Energy embark on the next chapter in its development."

Stuart Young added: "It was great to help the shareholders in Opus Energy realise a successful exit after working together for so many years. This is a significant deal and further shows the high-quality transactions we are supporting. Our deep sector knowledge played a big part in helping our clients to realise the value in its hard work in building the Opus Energy business."

Opus Energy is one of the UK's biggest suppliers of energy to business customers and has been supplying its energy services since 2002. During this time, the company has won numerous awards, including a place in The Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 250 league for the last six years, positioning it as the sixth largest supplier in the business market. Gowling WLG has worked with the company throughout this period.

Louise Boland, Managing Director at Opus: "Gowling WLG has been an excellent partner to us for the past ten years, and was the logical choice to support us through the sale process. The firm's strong understanding of the marketplace, combined with its long history with our business, allowed the team to play a key role in achieving a successful outcome that benefits both the shareholders and the business at large. We wouldn't have any hesitation in recommending them to others."