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Law 360

GE Resolves $1.1B Angola Power Project Fight

General Electric and an Angola-focused infrastructure company have agreed to end multiple lawsuits in Connecticut and New York related to the American industrial giant’s alleged role in the cancellation of contracts for a $1.1 billion power and water project in the southern African country.

GE units and Aenergy S.A. on Monday filed four stipulations to voluntarily dismiss pending lawsuits related to the long-running dispute over accusations that GE used financial deception and forgery to force the Portuguese-owned company out of contracts for power turbines in Angola.

The parties entered nearly identical filings in the U.S. District Court of Connecticut, the Southern District of New York and the Supreme Court of New York for New York County. The companies agreed to dismiss the lawsuits with prejudice.

Aenergy’s lawsuits against General Electric EFS Financing Inc. and General Electric International were voluntarily dismissed on the merits, even though a judge threw out both cases in August after the GE units agreed to litigate the cases in Angolan courts.

GE and Aenergy “have resolved their disputes on confidential terms,” the two companies said in duplicate statements to Law360 Tuesday.

The dispute over the collapse of Aenergy’s mega venture in Angolan water and power infrastructure landed in U.S. courts in 2020. The entrepreneur-backed firm accused GE of working behind the scenes with fabricated documents to get the Angolan government to drop more than a dozen contracts in favor of handing the business to the American company.

Aenergy was initially contracted to build and operate power plants in Angola using a $1.1 billion GE credit facility, but the deal fell apart after the country’s government accused it of buying more turbines than authorized. Aenergy claimed GE had manipulated turbine sales to boost its earnings and then deceived Angolan officials to dump Aenergy from the projects.

That case, which named GE and Angola, was ultimately dismissed two years ago by a judge for the Southern District of New York, who ruled the claims had to be heard in Angolan courts. A Second Circuit panel affirmed the ruling and the U.S. Supreme Court refused the case early this year.

Aenergy kept up its crusade to keep the dispute in U.S. courts. It filed a new lawsuit against Angola in a D.C. federal court earlier this year, which was quickly dismissed on the grounds the case had to be heard in Angola. The company also filed new suits against GE, two of which were thrown out after Aenergy agreed to litigate in the African country.

Aenergy is represented by Vincent Levy of Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP.

GE is represented by Ilissa Samplin of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

The cases are Aenergy S.A. et al. v. GE Capital EFS Financing Inc., case number 3:22-cv-01054 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, In re Application of Aenergy S.A., case number 1:19-mc-00542, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Aenergy S.A. et al. v. General Electric Co., case number 653025/2022, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York County of New York, and Aenergy S.A. et al. v. General Electric International Inc., case number 3:22-cv-01055, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Link to the article – Law360