Lander & Rogers advises ITOCHU Corporation on acquisition of wastewater treatment plant
Lander & Rogers has advised Japanese trading company, ITOCHU Corporation (Japan), on its purchase of the Kooragang Industrial Water Scheme (KIWS) from Hunter Water.
The advanced wastewater treatment plant, which is located in Newcastle, NSW and has been operational since November 2014, uses a micro-filitration and reverse osmosis process to produce up to 3.3 billion litres of recycled water per year. The water is pumped via a 9km buried pipeline to chemicals manufacturer, Orica, under a long-term sale agreement which ITOCHU will also assume. Hunter Water and ITOCHU have negotiated and, on completion, will sign a long term agreement by which Hunter Water will supply the plant with treated effluent. Following completion of the sale the plant will be operated by SUEZ Australia.
The acquisition will complete following satisfaction of the usual regulatory and third party licensing and assignment requirements.
The Lander & Rogers team advising ITOCHU was led by Corporate Partner, Deanna Constable, supported by Partners, David Fabian and Lisa Gaddie, Senior Associate Tim Griffiths, and Lawyers, Stella Lee, Dru Marsh and Kahlee O'Connor.
Deanna Constable said, "This transaction was our first M&A transaction for ITOCHU and we were delighted to work so closely with their experienced Australian and Japanese commercial and legal teams. We are also pleased to continue our work in the agricultural and water sectors, having also recently closed acquisitions of a group of almond farms for First State Super and water rights from Redbank Energy Ltd.
"The transaction follows a competitive tender process undertaken by Hunter Water at a time when the underlying regulatory regime was - and still is - under some fluctuation with amendments passed (but not commenced) to the Water Industry Competition Act and supporting changes to the regulations not yet published. In parallel to the acquisition and long term supply negotiations, Lander & Rogers also assisted ITOCHU to finalise the commercial terms of its operations and maintenance contract with SUEZ Australia."