08 Aug 2013


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

Jeff Bezos' Amazon.com is the world's largest online retailer Annette Shaff

US: Amazon founder gets Post

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of the Amazon.com Inc., the world’s largest online retailer, is purchasing the famed US newspaper the Washington Post for $250 million. The purchase is a personal deal that is the latest in a series of recent acquisitions of newspaper businesses by individual billionaires. According to Bloomberg Law, Mr Bezos is being advised by New York-headquartered law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, with a team led by partner Paul Shim. The Washington Post Company is represented by Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP with a team including partners Eric Schiele and Jennifer Conway.  According to Reuters, the deal is believed to be worth more than four times the price of the Washington Post’s financial results, which would have been worth approximately $60 million if it went on the valuations of other newspaper deals. Washington Post company chairman Donald Graham, whose family has led the paper since rescuing it from bankruptcy in 1933, reportedly said of the deal: ‘I named a price and Jeff agreed to pay it.’

China: miner success

China’s biggest mining deal in recent months sees Asia-Pacific law firm Allens advise British-Australian multinational metals and mining corporation Rio Tinto Group on the sale of its 80 per cent interest in Northparkes copper mine to China Molybdenum, advised by King & Wood Mallesons, for $820 million, ALB reports. Rio Tinto is aiming to cut $5 billion in costs and concentrate on its most profitable mines in relinquishing Northparkes – the fourth largest producing copper mine in Australia – to China Molybdenum, which is still awaiting approval from Chinese authorities for the sale. Partner Richard Malcomson led the team for Allens.

UK: steaks are high

London-based law firms Macfarlanes and Olswang have landed the lead roles in Graphite Capital’s purchase of London steak restaurant chain Hawksmoor for approximately £35 million, according to Legal Week. Long-term client Graphite Capital was advised by a team from Macfarlanes led by partners Howard Corney and Chris Lawrence. Business owners Underdog Restaurants and the shareholders were advised by Olswang.

Australia: powerful deal

A team from London-based law firm Ashurst advised Australian gas and electricity retailer AGL Energy on its $158 million off-market takeover of Australian Power and Gas (APG), reports Lawyers Weekly. Independent Australian commercial law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth advised APG whilst partner Phil Breden led for Ashurst as AGL entered into agreements to acquire 19.9 per cent of APG shares and into a bid implementation agreement (BIA) with APG, under which it will make an off-market takeover offer.