Ashurst advises financiers on Hitachi's joint venture with FirstGroup to lease electric bus batteries

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    Global law firm Ashurst has advised the funders to NextGen AssetCo Limited, a joint venture between Hitachi and FirstGroup, which will purchase up to 1,000 electric bus batteries and then lease them to First Group entities in a significant push to decarbonise the UK's bus network.

    The joint venture encompasses battery finance, smart charging software to manage EV charging, and on-site zero carbon power generation, with an aim of replacing 1,500 diesel buses with EV alternatives. Ashurst advised the battery financiers (MUFG, SMBC and Natwest) on the transaction.

    The Ashurst team was led by Terence van Poortvliet, supported by partner Patrick Boyle, senior associate Jamie Illingworth, consultant Karen Braakman, associates Abigail Harvey, Rob Booth, Elizabeth Hoyle, Kamila Saatova, Ciaran Rutherfurd and trainee solicitors Jacob Olamiju and Abu Bakr Samad.

    Lead partner Terence van Poortvliet said: "We're delighted to have advised on such an innovative and strategic transaction which further accelerates the drive towards decarbonisation and will significantly transform and lead the UK's shift towards electric buses."