Stolt-Nielsen’s signing a strategic joint venture investment with Golar LNG Ltd and Höegh LNG

Eversheds Sutherland has advised Stolt-Nielsen LNG Holdings Ltd and Avenir LNG Ltd in connection with the investment by Stolt, Golar LNG Ltd and Höegh LNG Holdings Ltd. of US$182 million into Avenir.

This investment will enable Avenir to pursue opportunities to deliver LNG to areas of stranded demand, as well as the development of LNG bunkering capabilities.

Stolt remains the largest shareholder of Avenir with ownership of 50%. Golar LNG Ltd and Höegh LNG Holdings Ltd. each hold a 25% share. The investment will be contributed as cash and equity-in-kind and will fund the construction of six small-scale LNG carriers, a small-scale storage terminal and regasification facilities.

Avenir was formed by Stolt in 2017 to provide LNG to markets lacking access to natural gas pipelines. With this joint investment, Stolt will consolidate all its LNG activities into Avenir, including four LNG new buildings on order at Keppel Singmarine in Nantong, China and the joint-venture LNG terminal and distribution facility to be constructed in the port of Oristano, Sardinia. Avenir plans to source and ship LNG to the terminal using small LNG carriers, and to distribute the LNG in trucks and through regasification into local network grids. In addition, Avenir plans to order two further small-scale LNG carriers.

Listed on the Oslo stock exchange, Höegh LNG is a leading worldwide owner and operator of floating LNG import terminals, floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs), and one of the most experienced global operators of LNG Carriers (LNGCs). Its vision and strategy is to develop its business through an extended service offering, with large-scale FSRUs as its main product, and to focus on establishing long-term contracts with attractive risk-adjusted returns involving credible counterparts.

Eversheds Sutherland’s Dubai based corporate team led on the transaction and included principal associate Hani Nassef, associate Eliza Grant and partners Iwan Walters and Zeid Hanania (picture). Support was provided by UK based partners Antony Walsh (corporate), Danny Blum (employee incentives) and Peter Harper (competition); associate Todor Papanov (competition); and trainee Inaya Homoud (corporate). Dutch law support was provided by Amsterdam based partner Tom van Wijngaarden, associate Laetitia Goor and trainee Carola De bruijn.

Watson Farley & Williams advised Höegh LNG Holdings Ltd. on the deal with a London team led by Corporate Partner Mark Tooke, working closely with Partner and Global Maritime Sector Head Lindsey Keeble. Energy & Infrastructure Senior Associate Emmanuel Ninos and Associate Craig Bruce provided support on construction law matters, with Competition Partner Jeremy Robinson and Senior Associate Vineet Budhiraja advising Höegh LNG on the regulatory and competition law aspects of the transaction.

Involved fees earner: Mark Tooke – Watson Farley & Williams; Emmanuel Ninos – Watson Farley & Williams; Craig Bruce – Watson Farley & Williams; Jeremy Robinson – Watson Farley & Williams; Vineet Budhiraja – Watson Farley & Williams; Lindsey Keeble – Watson Farley & Williams; Hani Nassef – Eversheds Sutherland; Zeid Hanania – Eversheds Sutherland; Iwan Walters – Eversheds Sutherland; Eliza Grant – Eversheds Sutherland; Antony Walsh – Eversheds Sutherland; Inaya Homoud – Eversheds Sutherland; Tom van Wijngaarden – Eversheds Sutherland; Laetitia Goor – Eversheds Sutherland; Carola de Bruijn – Eversheds Sutherland; Danny Blum – Eversheds Sutherland; Peter Harper – Eversheds Sutherland; Todor Papanov – Eversheds Sutherland;

Law Firms: Watson Farley & Williams; Eversheds Sutherland;

Clients: Höegh LNG; Stolt-Nielsen LNG Holdings Ltd;