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CMS advises Equinor on its partnership with BP in US offshore wind

16 September 2020

International law firm CMS is delighted to announce its role as legal adviser to Equinor on its agreement with BP to sell 50% of its non-operated interests in the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind assets on the US east coast for a total consideration before adjustments of USD 1.1 billion. Power generation from each site will be sufficient to power more than 1 million homes.

Through this transaction, the two companies are also establishing a strategic partnership for further growth within offshore wind in the US. Through this partnership Equinor and BP will consider future joint opportunities in the US for both bottom-fixed and floating offshore wind and will leverage relevant expertise to jointly grow scale. 

BP’s acquisition of the interests in Empire Wind and Beacon Wind has an effective date of 1 January 2020 and is expected to close in early 2021, subject to customary conditions including purchase price adjustments and authority approval.

The transaction was led at CMS by Munir Hassan, Head of Energy & Climate Change, and Charles Currier, Co-head of Corporate, with the involvement of a large team, and also working alongside US firm Bracewell LLP. 

Paul Fulton, legal head of Equinor’s renewables team, said, “This is the first time we have tried to export our UK partnership structure to the US and this would not have been possible in the timeframe without the excellent and pragmatic approach of CMS and Bracewell. We now have a strong partnership to grow our business in the US.”

Munir Hassan commented, “This transaction allowed CMS to assist Equinor in exporting the approaches we and they have developed on European and Asian offshore wind projects and transactions to the nascent offshore wind market in America, and help to shape the emerging practice there.”

Charles Currier added, “This was a complex multi-jurisdictional transaction involving UK and US counsel on both sides. It was conducted seamlessly using virtual platforms, pushing the technology to its limits, and demonstrated the agility of the legal profession to respond to shifting demands during the lockdown.”