Mikko Eerola

Partner

Share this

Very constructive and able to create a good environment to achieve the outcome.

Chambers Global & Europe 2017, Corporate/M&A

He is results-oriented and business-minded. He can see matters from our point of view and understand what we are aiming for.

Chambers Global & Europe 2015, Corporate/M&A

Nice to negotiate with and very trustworthy.

Chambers Global & Europe 2016, Corporate/M&A

The experienced team headed by Mikko Eerola are easy to work with and soon to reply. I would place Dittmar ahead of other leading firms for their constructive solutions and easy-to-work-with attitude.

IFLR1000 2017, Energy and infrastructure

Recognized since 2013 in The Best Lawyers in Finland for work in: Mergers and Acquisitions Law and Private Equity Law.

Best Lawyers

Combination of deep knowledge in his own field and good negotiation skills.

Chambers Europe 2018, Energy & Natural Resources

He is great at distilling the complex issues. He gets to the crux of the problem and offers a straightforward assessment.

Chambers Europe 2015, Competition/European Law

“Strong practitioner” Mikko Eerola receives accolades in our research thanks to his excellent experience advising pharmaceutical clients on regulatory compliance matters.

Who's Who Legal 2018, Life Sciences: Regulatory

Mikko Eerola comes highly recommended by market commentators who highlight his impressive work on renewables and infrastructure-related matters.

Who's Who Legal 2018, Energy

He has very good technical knowledge and understanding of complex matters.

Chambers Global & Europe 2017, Corporate/M&A
Dittmar & Indrenius > People > Mikko Eerola

Focus on M&A and private equity, especially in the field of energy and infrastructure.

Mikko Eerola is known for being a leading Finnish M&A lawyer and receives wide praise for his expertise and practical and constructive approach in deal-making. He has been particularly active in the areas of energy and infrastructure and during the last ten years he has been engaged in most of the major energy related cross-border transactions on the Finnish market.

He has broad experience in combining regulatory, competition law and M&A-expertise in advising leading industrials and financial sponsors in a wide range of industries including accommodation, automotive, consumer goods, paper, pharmaceuticals and retail.

Before joining Dittmar & Indrenius, Mikko Eerola made a distinguished career as a partner and managing partner in another leading law firm in Finland.

Education

University of Helsinki (LL.M., 1998)

Postgraduate Diploma in EC Competition Law, King’s College, (2002)

Admitted: Finnish Bar Association

Languages

Finnish, Swedish and English

References

Latest Insights

alert
Ban on Coal, What Next?
23 Apr 2018 Finnish Government Plans to Ban Coal and Redirect State Aid for Renewable Energy The Finnish government plans to ban coal in energy production in 2029. The government prepares a EUR 90 million incentive package for energy producers to voluntarily commit to phase-out of coal by 2025. The incentives package would be financed by lowering the annual production level proposed for the planned tendering scheme for renewable electricity from 2 TWh to 1.4 TWh. The tendering processes are expected to be tough also due to large amount of partly developed projects. Ban on Coal and Compensation for Energy Producers The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment pronounced on 10 April 2018 that the use of coal in energy production will be prohibited by law in 2029, a year earlier than stated in the energy and climate strategy. In connection with the ban the government would introduce an incentives package designed for cities to phase out coal already by 2025 to support investments in energy technologies to replace coal. Half of the package would be reserved for renewable heat and power (CHP) and the other half for other technologies needed in the conversion from coal. The government supports renewable CHP also in order to ensure the security of supply in peak load conditions. The planned ban is part of Finnish government's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change. According to Minister Tiilikainen, phasing out coal-based energy production would enable Finland to significantly reduce the emissions from heating. The ban and the incentives package have already raised criticism of inefficient climate policy, as the use of coal is expected to phase out during the early 2030s without government intervention. Industry representatives have demanded that the government should focus its efforts to ensure efficient operation of the emissions trading scheme (ETS). Prices of district heating are expected to rise in cities where coal is used for heating (mainly metropolitan area and Vaasa and Turku). This may further lead to increased demand of alternative heating solutions, such as heat pumps.  Furthermore, prices of alternative fuels (such as wood and gas) may rise. The ban must comply with the requirements of protection of private property and the incentives package must comply with the EU state aid rules. The incentives package could be seen as a way for the government to decrease the likelihood of compensation processes or the potential amounts payable. Further details concerning the ban and the incentives package are expected during the autumn. Support for Renewable Energy Is Redirected from Electricity to Heat The incentives package will be financed by lowering the required annual production level proposed for the tendering scheme for renewable electricity, from 2 TWh to 1.4 TWh. According to Minister Tiilikainen, "Redirecting support from renewable electricity to renewable heating is justified on the grounds that while nearly 80 per cent of electricity production is already emission-free, only 36 per cent of district heating uses renewable energy sources.” The planned temporary support scheme for the production of renewable energy is expected to move forward. Production aid would be granted for 1.4 TWh of new renewable production in technology-neutral auctions to be held during 2019 and 2020. The temporary scheme has been considered a transition to a subsidy-free system. After the scheme has been approved in the Parliament, it must be notified to the EU Commission to check compliance under the EU state aid rules. The expected aggregate amount of the proposed new production aid for renewable electricity is 100 million euros in 10 years whereas the current costs of the feed-in tariff scheme is approximately 245 million euros annually. Although being technology-neutral, we expect that the new scheme will attract mostly wind power projects and especially larger wind farms. There are already partly-developed wind power projects available with necessary land use planning completed or construction permits granted by municipalities corresponding to an annual production capacity of approximately 7.3 TWh. Investors should carefully review the legal validity of the plans and permits relating to a particular project. The large number of potential projects means that the competitive bidding process will be tough. Investment Aid for Biofuel and New Technology In addition to the production subsidies, discretionary energy investment aid would continue to be granted. Investment aid would be paid primarily for projects commercializing new energy technology such as electricity storage, integration of variable production into the electricity system and arctic offshore wind power. Investment aid would also be granted to new biofuel production facilities. The government strives to cut the import of oil to half from the current level by increasing the local production of biofuels which would require investments of approximately 1.5 billion euros to new production facilities. The investments depend heavily on the final wording of the EU renewable energy directive (RED II) currently under negotiation.
insight
How Is Sustainability and Green Thinking Affecting a Leading Infrastructure Investor's Appetite and View on the Finnish and Nordic Markets?
21 Jun 2016 Today, sustainability and green thinking permeates much of the infrastructure space globally and this trend has been very visible in Finland and elsewhere in the Nordic countries. Finland continues to be one of the hotspots for foreign infrastructure investors, in particular in the energy space, thanks to these global trends. D&I's Mikko Eerola asked Managing Director, Infrastructure Dominic Helmsley and Investment Director Jason Cogley of SL Capital Partners, a leading European infrastructure investor, their views on the key drivers for this development and the rationale behind their current portfolio assets in the Nordics. D&I: Could You Explain the Key Drivers for the Global Investor Community, Including You, in This Asset Class? Originally sustainability and green thinking took the form of EU regulations and national action plans supporting the deployment of renewable energy generation but also now includes reinforcement of electric grid infrastructure, reserve power, storage and new combined cycle gas turbine plants to manage renewable generation intermittency. Green thinking now also extends to the transportation sector in the form of decarbonisation of rail networks in the UK for example. In short sustainability and green thinking is touching much of the infrastructure world, requiring new capital to implement in turn creating opportunities for investors. From our perspective, sustainability and green thinking touches each of our three core sectors of transportation, regulated utilities and energy infrastructure. D&I: What Makes an Interesting Investment Opportunity in This Asset Class for You? Energy infrastructure is a core part of our investment remit and there’s an abundance of opportunities in the Nordics. A lot of time is spent identifying opportunities that display the right infrastructure characteristics for our fund: high barriers to entry, provision of a public service, good downside resilience and monopolistic tendencies. We’re looking at predominantly brownfield assets and low technology and operational risk. We’re looking for a mix of revenues frameworks from regulated to contracted and some limited merchant exposure. On investment size, we’re targeting the mid to lower mid-market and have taken controlling stakes in smaller investments but have looked to partner with others for larger targets and look at minority stakes where they have the sufficient minority protections. Finally, we are looking at returns of 9-12 %. There’s an abundance of opportunities in the Nordics that fit our remit and so we’re quite picky about what we go after. D&I: Tell Us About Your Investments in the Nordic Countries and Rationale Behind Them In terms of sectors, we’re currently invested in the Nordics in a Finnish gas distribution business and a platform of Norwegian operating small hydro. We’ll also look at electricity grids, onshore wind, solar, some CHP, district heating, pipelines and mid-stream storage. D&I: Your First Finnish Investment, Gas Distribution Service Operator Auris Kaasunjakelu, Is an Interesting Conviction Play? Absolutely, and contributing to a more sustainable energy market. We’re a believer in the importance of natural gas as a bridging and balancing fuel as Europe continues to decarbonize and so we’re on balance positive about the gas economy in Europe. We’re also encouraged by positive developments in European natural gas supply and pricing with supply side pressure decreasing prices and evidence of increasing dislocation of the cost of gas from cost of oil. In Finland in particular we’re encouraged by the introduction of biogas as a domestic and renewable source of gas which is available to our customers with favourable tax treatment. In addition, we think there is capacity to increase market penetration in Finland especially when compared to other European neighbours which could accelerate if there is a liberalisation of supply in Finland. D&I: Your Other Nordic Investment Is Small Hydro – Are There Any Safe Harbours in Electricity Generation, Given the Development on Electricity Prices? Our Norwegian platform of operating small hydro is a good fit because hydro is a technology that has existed as an electricity generation source for more than 130 years and so very low technology and operational risk, very long lasting and we can sell whatever we produce. There is market risk both on power and elcerts but there is a relatively deep market for hedges and so we’re able to hedge away a majority of our price risk for a 5-10 year period at sensible prices. As a June 2015 entrant to the market we’ve not suffered from the electricity price falls in Nordpool that others have been exposed to and are quite bullish about where electricity prices will go over the long run. Hydro as a very long term asset is well placed to benefit from long term price movements and a good proxy for GDP exposure. D&I: So We Can Expect Further Activity On the Back of These Megatrends on Your Part in the Nordics? For SL Capital Partners sustainability and green thinking transcends the energy market and we see a healthy pipeline of good quality opportunities. The Nordics remain for us an important part of the expansion of our investment platform outside the UK. [caption id="attachment_600" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo: Julius Konttinen[/caption] D&I advised SL Capital Partners in its first investment in Finland, the acquisition of the largest Finnish gas distribution system operator, currently Auris Kaasunjakelu Oy from state-owned gas wholesaler and transmission system operator Gasum Oy. The D&I team brought together specialist knowledge from a number of fields in order to address all relevant aspects of the deal and achieve a smooth execution of the transaction. In addition, D&I has been involved in various roles in all recent major acquisitions of regulated network businesses in Finland.  

Share this

Dittmar & Indrenius