Global power, utilities deals more than doubled in Q2
The second quarter of 2016 saw the value of deals in the global power and utilities sector increase 105 per cent compared to the same period of 2015 while the volume of deals was up 33 per cent.
A report by EY shows that there were 128 deals with total value of U$43.5 billion in April, May and June with a strong focus on renewables and regulated assets.
Asia Pacific deals totalled U$9.4 billion, driven by thermal generation and renewables deals especially in China, India and Southeast Asia. The reform of China’s energy market is boosting cross-border M&A in the sector.
“The trend toward investment in disruptive technologies is also gathering pace. Both utilities and non-traditional investors are shifting their focus to areas like distributed energy and battery storage. And, as consumer demand increases, more M&A will follow,” commented Matt Rennie, EY’s global power & utilities transactions leader.
The America’s made up well over half of the deal value ($24.7 billion) with Europe contributing $8.2 billion.
DLA Piper ends Indonesia alliance
DLA Piper has ended its 3-year-old alliance with Indonesia’s Ivan Almaida Baely & Firmansyah. The news follows the international firm’s break with alliance firms in South Africa and Venezuela.
International law firms are not permitted to open offices or operate in the country currently but DLA Piper will still work with clients operating there through its relationships with a number of local law firms. It’s understood that Ivan Almaida Baely & Firmansyah will be one of those firms despite the end of a formal alliance.
Lawyers could be hit with big penalties for aiding tax avoidance
Lawyers in the UK could face heavy penalties if the tax authority’s latest proposal goes ahead.
HM Revenue & Customs has begun a consultation on plans to penalise those who “design, market or facilitate” tax avoidance schemes which are defeated when challenged by tax officials.
It could mean that tax lawyers would be hit with hefty fines for advising clients on schemes which are later defeated. Proposals for those penalties range from the entirety of the fees paid to advisers up to a fine equal to the amount of tax that was avoided.
There will be various tests to determine whether advisers went further then explaining tax legislation. An example is also given whereby a designer of a tax avoidance scheme consults a law firm on company law: “The law firm will not become a promoter as long as it provides no tax advice (other than benign advice) in the course of carrying out its responsibilities,” the HMRC document