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Vedder Thinking | News Vedder Price is advising EMK Capital on Sale of Williams Advanced Engineering to Fortescue Metals Group

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Vedder Price is pleased to announce that its London private equity team, led by Andrew Harris, is advising EMK Capital (EMK) in the sale of Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) to Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue, ASX: FMG) for £164 million (approximately US$223 million). Vedder Price also advised EMK on the acquisition of a controlling interest in WAE in 2019.

Founded in 2010, as part of the Williams Formula 1 motorsports group, WAE is a technology and engineering services business. It provides world class technical innovation, engineering, testing and manufacturing services to deliver energy efficient performance to customers. WAE’s primary capabilities in new materials, electrification and battery technology, aerodynamics and thermodynamics, business performance and specialist low volume manufacturing span a myriad of sectors, including automotive, motorsport, aerospace, defence, mining and healthcare for a diverse client base of household names. EMK acquired a majority interest in WAE in 2019 from Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited (WGPE), with WGPE retaining a significant minority interest.

Fortescue is an Australia based mining company with mining hubs and haulage infrastructure based in Western Australia. Established in 2003, Fortescue is one of the world’s largest producers of iron ore. Together with Fortescue Future Industries, its wholly owned renewable green energy and industry company, Fortescue is establishing a global portfolio of green hydrogen and green product operations and, through its acquisition of WAE, also aims to bring green energy to Fortescue’s fleet of freight trains, haul trucks and industrial heavy mobile equipment and thereby achieve an industry leading 2030 net-zero target.

Commenting on the transaction, Andrew Harris said:

“We are delighted to support our longstanding client, EMK Capital, in this ground-breaking transaction. We have also enjoyed working with our friends at WAE over the past number of years and wish them and Fortescue well in their new venture. Their combined vision to tackle climate change head-on by decarbonising heavy industry puts them at the cutting edge of this exciting technology and I have no doubt that they will be hugely successful.”  

In addition to Andrew Harris, the Vedder Price team includes corporate associate Gerry Kelly and associate Harrison Hutchinson. Allen & Overy is advising WGPE.

The transaction is expected to conclude by the end of March 2022, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions including foreign investment approval under the new National Security and Investment Act 2021.

About Vedder Price:

Vedder Price is a thriving commercial law firm with eight offices in major global cities including Chicago, New York, Washington, DC, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Singapore and Dallas. The firm offers a unique and sophisticated mix of finance, corporate, labor and employment, and litigation legal services, including market-leading practices in global transportation finance, middle-market finance/M&A, executive compensation, employment class actions, investment services and more. Vedder Price has enduring relationships with marquee organizations, and many of the firm’s clients have been with the firm since its founding in 1952.



Andrew B. Harris