Stephenson Harwood LLP has advised existing client Premier Energy and Water Trust plc on its issue, via a newly incorporated subsidiary, of new zero dividend preference shares repayable in 2020. This issue offers existing ZDP shareholders in the group the opportunity to rollover their investment in a tax efficient manner into the new ZDP shares.
Stephenson Harwood was first instructed by the company in 2014 to assist it with a complex scheme of arrangement. This scheme allowed the company to continue in existence beyond a fixed winding up date of 31 December 2015, whilst at the same time providing for ZDP shareholders in the group to receive their final capital entitlement on 31 December 2015.
The transaction involved the members' voluntary liquidation of the existing ZDP subsidiary with the new ZDP shares being issued by a newly incorporated subsidiary and admitted to the Official List and to trading on the main market of the LSE. Stephenson Harwood advised on all the UK legal, tax and regulatory issues regarding the transaction.
Alex Haynes, corporate partner at Stephenson Harwood commented "ZDPs remain an attractive investment for a number of managers and advisers, as evidenced by the full take-up of the issue by existing ZDP shareholders wishing to rollover their investment into the new ZDP shares. They also provide flexible, 'covenant-light' gearing for the company and will hopefully enhance ordinary shareholder returns in the medium to long term. We were delighted to assist the company again in delivering a transaction which worked for both the company and its shareholders."
The Stephenson Harwood team was led by corporate partner Alex Haynes, assisted by corporate associate Nick Horton, tax partner Maryanna Sharrock and tax associate John Meehan.