11 July 2013


A round-up of recent global deals and the lawyers who made them happen.

By Charlotte Mullen

Mozambique: Rovuma basin oil block acquired by ONGC Alberto Loyo

Mozambique: Oil block

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has acquired a 10 per cent participating interest in the 'Area 1' oil block – which is operated by US company Anadarko – offshore in the Rovuma Basin in Mozambique, assisted by law firms Gabinete Legal Moçambique (GLM) and Portuguese law firm PLMJ. Valued at approximately $2.5 billion, the deal is one of the largest energy projects in Eastern Africa and Mozambique, with the interest being held by Indian group Videocon Industries. Partners Ana Oliveira Rocha, Marta Pedro and Miguel Spínola led the deal at the Mozambique Desk assisted by Josina Correia and Amina Abdala at GLM.  

India: steely determination

In India, Al Ghurair Iron & Steel (AGIS) won an arbitration award of $4.36m with the help of Indian law firm Bose & Mitra & Co against JSW Steel Ltd, represented by K Ashar & Co. The dispute, which began in 2010, concerned the quality of hot rolled coils, with AGIS claiming that Ispat Industries Ltd (owned by JSW) breached a contract by not meeting specifications set for the coils.

UK: BBC bond boost

Advised by the London office of Morrison & Foerster the BBC has raised £170m in a direct bond – its first ever, reports Legalweek. The funds will be used both for a private placement in the US that manages the corporation's commercial business debt - and to help BBC Worldwide market more content broadcast abroad.  US-qualified partner Brian Bates and counsel Jacob Mendoza were on Morrison & Foerster's team of advisers, working with Nicole Whiting from the BBC's commercial legal team.

Australia: Rugby reshuffle

NRL (National Rugby League) team Melbourne Storm has been sold by News Limited and bought by a private consortium under the leadership of Bart Campbell, a New Zealand entrepreneur, according to Lawyers Weekly. The lawyers behind the scenes were partner and head of corporate and commercial practice Bruce McFarlane and special counsel Matthew Bridges from Melbourne-based Hall & Wilcox, who represented the consortium. Allens acted for News Limited on this - the sale of their last stake in NRL clubs.

UK/US: Chesapeake buyout

Carlyle Group is preparing to acquire packaging giant Chesapeake which produces branded and pharmaceutical packaging. The Lawyer reports that Latham & Watkins is acting for Carlyle in its first deal for the US-based global asset management firm since the appointment of relationship partner David Walker from Clifford Chance in May.  Slaughter and May is advising Irving Place Capital and Oaktree Capital Managment in their sale of Chesapeak.  David Walker, Dominic Newcomb in London and Jeffrey Chenard in Washington DC are leading for Carlyle.  Benedict Nwaeke and Andrew Clark, and Jeff Twentyman and Michael Corbett advising for Irving whilst Jonathan Cohen, Chris Bulger and Bernhard Georgii are acting for Oaktree.

Thailand: Stakes are high

The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) is bidding for a 25.33 per cent stake at a value of $5.6 billion in Thailand's Bank of Ayudhya Pcl, under advice from international law firm Allen & Overy.  BTMU, a subsidiary of Japan's largest bank - Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) - is also being advised by Japanese law firm Nishimura & Asahi in this milestone acquisition, the largest in the region by a Japanese bank. The move follows an expressed intent by the Thai bank to attract foreign investment in order to be more competitive. GE Capital International Holdings Corp (GE), which provided BTMU with the voluntary tender offer to buy the stake, is being advised by King & Wood Mallesons and Thanathip & Partners.



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