Four firms advise as stockholders OK SPAC's $1.15 bln Archaea Energy merger

Signage is seen outside of the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
  • Kirkland reps Rice SPAC, whose investors blessed merger this week
  • Richards, Layton & Finger advises special committee
  • Pillsbury guides Archaea, Orrick steers Aria

(Reuters) - Four law firms are advising blank-check company Rice Acquisition Corp on its planned $1.15 billion merger with Aria Energy LLC and Archaea Energy LLC that was approved by Rice stockholders on Thursday, propelling the deal closer to creating the largest public renewable gas company in the United States.

Kirkland & Ellis; Richards, Layton and Finger; Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe are working on the special purpose acquisition company’s combination.

The deal was initially announced in April.

SPACs, or blank check companies, raise funds through initial public offerings to merge with privately held companies and take them public.

The Rice SPAC has tapped Kirkland, the underwriters’ counsel for its October IPO, for guidance on the union. The Kirkland team is led by corporate partners David Feirstein and Cyril Jones and capital markets partners Matt Pacey and Lanchi Huynh.

Pacey and Huynh also steered the June IPO for the Rice SPAC’s predecessor, Rice Acquisition Corp. II, filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show.

Richards, Layton and Finger advised the SPAC’s special committee, which reviewed and negotiated the transaction.

A Pillsbury team headed by energy partner Mona Dajani is representing Archaea.

Orrick is advising Aria, a portfolio company of investment firm Ares Management Corp. The law firm’s team is headed by corporate partners John Cook and Kristin Seeger.

The special committee’s financial adviser is Moelis & Co LLC, and Aria’s is Barclays. Citi, Jefferies LLC and Roth Capital Partners LLC acted as co-placement agent on a private investment in public equity connected with the merger.

The union with Aria and Archaea will create a business focused on the capture and conversion of waste emissions from landfills into low-carbon renewable natural gas, electricity and green hydrogen, according to a press release.

After the transaction wraps up on or around Sept. 15, the combined company will be named Archaea Energy Inc and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “LFG.”

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Blank-check firm Rice's investors approve $1.15 billion Archaea merger

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Sierra Jackson reports on legal matters in major mergers and acquisitions, including deal work, litigation and regulatory changes.