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White & Case and Squire Patton Boggs Advise on CEE Equity Partners Investment in Energy 21

Czech Republic

White & Case has advised Mid Europa Partners (MEP) and Squire Patton Boggs has advised CEE Equity Partners — the investment advisor to the China CEE Investment Co-operation Fund — on the latter’s investment into the Energy 21 operator of photovoltaic power plants. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

MEP — a leading private equity firm in Central and Eastern Europe, with approximately EUR 43 billion of funds raised and managed since its inception — invested in Czech-based Energy 21 in 2010. It has an installed generation capacity of 61 megawatts peak. 

The China-CEE Fund was established by China Exim Bank in partnership with other institutional investors from the CEE region to capitalize on investment opportunities in CEE countries. This marks the fund’s 9th investment overall since its launch in 2014, and its first in the Czech Republic. The Fund also has investments in Poland (including in Polenergia and Polish Energy Partners), Hungary (in the BKF University of Applied Sciences), and Bulgaria (in Walltopia).

Pavel Malecek, the CEO of Energy 21, commented: “We are looking forward to cooperating with CEE Equity Partners and the China-CEE Fund, adding to our great partnership with Mid Europa.”

The White & Case team was led by London-based Partner Ross Allardice and Prague-based Partner Michal Smrek, supported by London-based Associates Tony Brown, Philip Vavalidis, Ivo Cavrak, Alexis Fong, and Daniel Hoborough, and Prague-based Associates Jakub Mencl, Petra Zunova and Ida Kucerova. White & Case advised Mid Europa on a number of deals recently, including its 2015 acquisitions of a 100% shareholding in Customer Management Center in Turkey, the 50% stake it didn’t already own in Walmark, and a controlling stake in the Danube Foods Group B.V. and Clates Holding B.V..

The Squire Patton Boggs team advising the China-CEE Fund consisted of Warsaw-based Counsel Pawel Magierowski and Prague-based Partners Jeff McGehee and Radek Janecek.

Editor's Note: After this article was published CMS informed CEE Legal Matters that it had advised Energy 21 in relation to the investment by CEE Equity Partners.

CMS has advised the investors to Energy 21 since 2009, and reports assisting it in “developing into the largest independent operator of photovoltaic power plants in Central and Eastern Europe through the development and acquisition of numerous solar power plants across the Czech Republic."

The CMS team advising Energy 21 was led by Partner Lukas Janicek and included Senior Associate Radim Kotlaba and Associates Tereza Maternova and Lukas Vymola.