Chapman Tripp acts on $260m Rockgas acquisition

​Chapman Tripp is advising First Gas Limited and its associated company Gas Services New Zealand (GSNZ) on its $260 million acquisition of the Rockgas LPG business from Contact Energy.

The deal is subject to Overseas Investment Office approval and other conditions.

“This is a complex deal – involving the acquisition of the Rockgas business but also partnering arrangements that enable Rockgas and GSNZ to continue to cross-sell their respective LPG and electricity products through a dual fuel package. Chapman Tripp acted on all corporate aspects of the transaction, including legal due diligence on the assets, documentation and negotiation,” lead partner John Strowger said.

GSNZ is an associated company of First Gas Limited, the largest owner of gas transmission and distribution in New Zealand. Rockgas is the largest LPG retailer in New Zealand, servicing 85,000 customers from six branches, three satellite branches as well as a network of 27 franchises.

Partner John Strowger and senior associate Lauren Curtayne advised on the deal, in addition to partners Neil Anderson – on competition aspects – and Kelly McFadzien – on separation of Rockgas from Contact’s business.

The deal is one of many that Chapman Tripp has acted on in 2018, with the firm making both the Mergermarket’s H1 2018 M&A league tables – the only New Zealand firm – and taking out the top spot for New Zealand in the Thomson & Reuters First Half 2018 M&A Review. Chapman Tripp was also the leading New Zealand firm by deal count and deal volume in “Bloomberg’s 1H 2018 M&A Legal Rankings” in Australasia.

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