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First Investment by Japanese Company in Gas Distribution Sector Outside Japan

Milan – Paul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm, announced today that it has advised Osaka Gas Co Ltd on its joint venture agreement with Erogasmet S.p.A in the natural gas distribution sector in Italy. The transaction provides for a capital increase in Erogasmet S.p.A. reserved to Osaka Gas UK Ltd (a 100% subsidiary of Osaka Gas Co Ltd), depending on the financial requirements, and corresponding to a minority shareholding in the joint venture. Osaka Gas was also advised by Rothschild as a financial advisor. The deal is expected to close by end of December 2015. Erogasmet has been assisted by Arthur D. Little and Studio Legale Carmini.

The purpose of the joint venture is to expand Erogasmet's business, by actively participating in the forthcoming Atem tenders and by playing a key role in the consolidation process expected in sector. Therefore, growth assumptions by external lines may be evaluated and pursued through acquisitions and joint ventures. Such goals will be facilitated by the expertise and know-how acquired by Osaka Gas both in Japan and in several international partnerships in different energetic sectors.

Osaka Gas is a leading Japanese energetic group founded in 1897 which has operated in the natural gas sector since 1905. The company today supplies about 7 millions of gas customers in Kansai (Japan central region), in the district of Osaka (where the company has its headquarters) and in the districts of Kobe and Kyoto. It is the second national operator, with a 24% share in terms of natural gas sold in Japan.

The Paul Hastings team was led by partner Lorenzo Parola.

 At Paul Hastings, our purpose is clear — to help our clients and people navigate new paths to growth. With a strong presence throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the U.S., Paul Hastings is recognized as one of the world’s most innovative global law firms.