Firms: King & Wood Mallesons (BlueScope Steel Limited), Clayton Utz (Japan’s Nippon Steel Corporation)
Deal: Joint venture agreement
Key players: The KWM team was led by partner Diana Nicholson, who was supported by fellow partners Simon Milne and Brad Galvin and senior associates Tim Downing and Luke McCarthy. Partners Cheng Lim and Martyn Huckerby also provided specialist expertise in the areas of IP and competition. Clayton Utz partner and national corporate practice head Graham Taylor led that firm's team, which included senior associates Joel von Thien, Samy Mansour and lawyer Jess Salinger. Partner Linda Evans and senior associate Sian-lee Ooi provided advice in relation to the competition aspects of the transaction, with partner Jim Fitzsimons and senior associate Peter Callaghan assisting with matters relating to intellectual property. Clayton Utz was supported by firms in Southeast Asia and the US.
Deal significance: Under the new 50:50 joint venture, which will be known as NS BlueScope Coated Products, Nippon will acquire a 50 per cent interest in BlueScope’s ASEAN and North American building products businesses. Completion of the acquisition will follow a pre-sale corporate restructure and regulatory approvals. The strategic partnership will provide a strong platform for expansion and growth in the building and construction sector in ASEAN and North America and will facilitate entry into new markets that BlueScope is not currently in a position to access as well as emerging markets in ASEAN.
Nippon is soon to be the world’s second-largest steelmaker following the completion of its merger with Sumitomo Metals. They will bring access to new technology and a strong customer base in new product areas, including an established customer base of Japanese companies operating in Southeast Asia, which will create new market opportunities for NS BlueScope Coated Products in one of the fastest-growing markets in the world.