Gowling WLG advises on multiple battery minerals and storage deals

26 November 2019

International law firm Gowling WLG has reinforced its market-leading status in mining, battery minerals and energy storage, following a series of transactions with key longstanding clients in the sector.

The international law firm's Natural Resources team advised AIM quoted Bushveld Minerals Limited (Bushveld) and Bacanora Lithum Plc (Bacanora) on a variety of highly significant transactions, assisting the companies with their respective lithium and vanadium projects and Bushveld's energy storage portfolio.

The team, working together with leading South African law firm Webber Wentzel, advised integrated primary vanadium producer Bushveld in relation to its acquisition of the Vanchem vanadium production assets in South Africa from Swiss based Duferco Vanadium Investment Holding as part of a US$53.5 million deal.

Shortly after completing the transaction, the team also advised Bushveld in relation to its US$5 million strategic investment into the proposed merger of US-based Avalon Battery Corporation and UK energy storage firm redT energy plc, where the resulting business is intended to be a leading player in the growing energy storage market. The team is also advising Bushveld on its recently announced proposed acquisition of Enerox GmbH from Canadian group CellCube Energy Storage Systems Inc. for €11 million. Enerox is a developer, manufacturer and distributor of vanadium redox flow batteries.

The same team also advised long term client Bacanora, the London traded lithium exploration and development company, in relation to the company's latest US$10 million equity capital raising to cornerstone shareholder M&G Plc, with the net proceeds of the Placing slated to support pre-construction works at the Company's Sonora Lithium Project in Mexico.

Prior to this placing, the team advised Bacanora on a strategic investment by the leading global lithium company Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd (Ganfeng). The transaction consisted of a 29.99% equity interest investment into Bacanora, accompanied by a 22.5% joint venture investment into its subsidiary that owns the Sonora Lithium Project in Mexico, together injecting approximately £22 million into the group. The investment is aimed at advancing the Sonora Project's development in 2019 and capitalising on the growing demand for battery-grade lithium.

Leading on the deals, Gowling WLG Head of Natural Resources Charles Bond, said: "We're extremely pleased to have supported two longstanding and important clients in furthering their growth in these difficult markets, and in helping to develop their battery and energy storage opportunities. As a Natural Resources team working in the UK, Canada and out other international offices for clients with assets globally on highly complex projects, Gowling WLG has and continues to forge a highly regarded reputation as a leader in this sector."

The firm's Energy, Automotive, Projects, Infrastructure and Tech teams also showcased their leading legal credentials in Q3 following a series of advisories to new and established clients. The Energy team advised Apus Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Octopus Administrative Services Limited and Welsh Power Limited, on the disposal of the entire issued share capital of three target companies. While Gowling WLG Canada LLP acted for Cummins over the US$290 million cross-border acquisition of fuel cell and hydrogen production technologies provider Hydrogenics Corporation.

The recent deal success across all teams comes following a strong ranking performance in both The Chambers UK 2020 and The Legal 500 UK 2020 legal directories, in which the Projects & Infrastructure and Energy & Natural Resources teams were recognised as two of the leading teams in the UK in their respective sectors. Gowling WLG was also one of only eight firms to be ranked in all five The Legal 500 UK 'Projects, Energy and Natural Resources' categories, moving up the rankings amongst the leading firms in London for its work in Emerging Markets, and Mining and Minerals, and in Birmingham for Project Finance and PFI.

Further success was secured by Gowling WLG's Equity Capital Markets lawyers in the latest Who's Who Legal: Mining rankings, with the Mining team also maintaining their leading position atop the FTSE AIM 100 rankings. The Firm's Energy team was also recognised for its standout Energy & Renewables practice in the latest The Times Best Law Firms 2020.

Media contacts

Ben Griffiths Senior Corporate Communications Executive Birmingham