Stable oil and gas prices generated greater industry confidence in 2018. Energy and natural resources businesses sought to invest in alternative asset classes to adapt to changing market dynamics while shale and renewables continued to attract high levels of interest.

The year also saw rapid investment into hybrid and electric vehicles alongside a heightened interest in businesses developing non-gas heating systems.

Our Energy and Natural Resources sector group focused on integrity and sustainability – how clients can follow best practices while boosting their bottom line. Our publication, Leading the way: Business integrity and sustainable development, shared energy-related insights across a broad range of topics, including the social license to operate, human rights, bribery and corruption, green finance, and socially responsible investing.

We also hosted Global Energy Summits in Houston, London, and Singapore. This flagship program welcomed more than 250 of the world's most influential energy executives to discuss the growing impact of nationalism on the energy industry.

Northern Coal

We advised Northern Coal Proprietary Limited on its sale to Msobo Coal.

Msobo Coal’s acquisition of Northern Coal allows for the development of two of Northern Coal’s greenfield projects.

The transaction is particularly relevant given South Africa’s current energy shortage. The coal projects benefit South Africa through energy generation and job creation via local supplier and manufacturer development.

The transaction was led by an M&A team in our Johannesburg office.


We advised Polymetal International plc, a leading precious metals mining group and member of the FTSE 250, on the sale of its 50% stake in Aktogai Mys LLC, a license and subsoil contract holder for the Dolinnoye gold deposit located in Kazakhstan.

The sale was part of Polymetal’s strategy to focus the company’s assets portfolio on high-margin and long-life assets. In addition to the sale of shares, the transaction involved the unwinding of complex corporate and commercial relationships between the existing shareholders of Aktogai Mys.

An M&A team from Moscow led this deal.


We advised Repsol, a global energy company, on its acquisition of 40% of Bardahl de México, S.A. de C.V., a Mexico-based automotive fluids and lubricants company.

This is the largest transaction to date for Repsol’s lubricants division in the Latin America region. The lubricants division is one of the company’s most globalized business units and its presence in the Latin America region is expected to be significantly bolstered by this operation.

The M&A team consisted of lawyers from our Mexico City, Monterrey, and Madrid offices with support from our antitrust, employment, and regulatory practices.

Société Générale 

We advised Société Générale on its acquisition of Lumo, a French crowdfunding platform dedicated to renewable energy projects.

By acquiring this crowdfunding solution, Société Générale can better support its major energy clients in developing their projects, as requested by the French government’s Renewable Energy Liberation Plan. Lumo's wind, solar, and hydroelectric projects are expected to produce more than 260m kWh of green electricity every year, enough for the annual energy needs of almost 100,000 households.

An M&A team from our Paris office led this transaction.

Read next: Financial Institutions M&A