International legal practice Osborne Clarke has advised John Laing Environmental Assets Group Limited (JLEN) on the acquisition of an anaerobic digestion (AD) asset, Merlin Renewables Limited, for a total consideration, including working capital, of c. £18.1 million.

The Merlin AD plant is located in Hibaldstow, North Lincolnshire and was commissioned in September 2014. The plant has a thermal capacity of c.5MWth and predominantly produces biomethane to be injected to the national gas grid. In addition, the plant also has a 0.5MWe CHP engine and is accredited under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) schemes. The AD plant has been acquired from Venture Capital Funds managed by Downing LLP and minority shareholders. Future Biogas Limited will continue to provide management, operations and maintenance services to the AD plant after the acquisition.

The acquisition builds on JLEN’s growing portfolio of four AD projects and brings the total capacity of the renewable energy assets in the JLEN investment portfolio to 274.2MW.

The acquisition was funded by a draw-down under the Company’s revolving credit facility.

The Osborne Clarke team was led by Corporate Partner Adam Love and Energy and Utilities Sector Leader and Partner James Watson. The team included (amongst others) Environment Partner Matt Germain, Corporate Associate Jonny Gait and Construction Partner Carl Thompson.

JLEN is a respected client of Osborne Clarke and this is the third AD acquisition the team have advised JLEN on, having acted on its successful acquisition of two AD plants in July 2018.

Osborne Clarke has an established and well-respected position as one of the leading law firms advising on renewable energy projects and transactions. For over 20 years, it has helped clients to seize new opportunities and meet the challenges of making energy generation clean, affordable and secure. The combination of the team’s experience and understanding of the energy sector means they are regularly called upon to support businesses on all aspects of their commercial, regulatory, corporate, finance and construction legal needs.

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