Firms: Corrs Chambers Westgarth (Aspire Mining Limited); Clayton Utz (Noble Group)
Deal: Agreement struck between Aspire and Noble regarding the funding of a railway link to Aspire’s Ovoot coking coal project in MongoliaArea: Infrastructure
Key players: Corrs acted for the ASX-listed Aspire Mining and Clayton Utz acted for Noble. Both companies are long-standing clients of their respective firms.
The Corrs team was led by M&A partner Russell Philip (pictured), with support from banking and finance partner Jeremy King and associate James Nicholls.
The Clayton Utz team was led by Sydney-based corporate partners Rory Moriarty and Bruce Cooper.
Deal significance: Noble have agreed to contribute to the pre-development costs associated with Aspire’s new railway linking the Ovoot coal mine to the Trans-Mongolian railway, which is being progressed through Aspire subsidiary Northern Railways LLC. Noble will also have an option to acquire 10 per cent of Northern Railways should it be successful in being awarded a rail concession from the Mongolian government to construct the proposed new railway.
The Noble Group is headquartered in Hong Kong while Aspire is an ASX-listed company.
“The Corrs team worked closely with our client on this complex deal, involving a mix of equity and debt funding for Aspire and Northern Railways, as well as providing a framework for developing the supply chain logistics arrangements for delivering Ovoot coal to market through Mongolia, China and Russia,” said Russell.
As part of the arrangements, Noble will subscribe for shares in Aspire, taking its shareholding to just under 15 per cent of Aspire, with a representative also being appointed to the Aspire Board.
Aspire’s share price has more than tripled since the deal was announced less than a week ago.