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Minters, Allens, work on Rio Tinto acquisition

Minters, Allens, work on Rio Tinto acquisition

Minter Ellison has acted as Australian counsel on Amcor’s acquisition of Rio Tinto Plc Alcan’s packaging business units.

MINTER Ellison has acted as Australian counsel on Amcor’s acquisition of Rio Tinto Plc Alcan’s packaging business units.

The $2.44 (US$2.025) billion deal saw Rio Tinto receive a binding offer from Amcor Limited to acquire a number of Alcan Packaging businesses.

Minters assisted Rio Tinto’s lead lawyers, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, on the Australian aspects of the transaction.

The firm advised on the ACCC’s merger clearance processes as well as with submissions to the ACCC on the proposed acquisition.

Allens Arthur Robinson, meanwhile, advised Amcor on the deal.

The transaction shows that it is possible to obtain informal merger clearance in Australia efficiently, said Minter Ellison lead counsel Russell Miller, a partner in the firm’s Australasian competition practice.

Miller told The New Lawyer that these types of deals are increasing for top Australian law firms.

“At any one time firms like ours, and perhaps two or three other firms prominent in this field, would have a number of these deals going, Mallesons [Stephen Jaques] included. The deals tend to congregate around those firms that have international reputations in the competition field,” he said.

The work on this deal was referred from global firm Freshfields, said Miller, and is a common type of deal for the firm, which “gets a lot of the Australian and New Zealand end of global takeovers”.

Minters’ advice on the Australian aspects of the regulatory approval needed to align with the timing of other regulatory approvals being sought worldwide, the firm said. It also had to ensure the agreed project timetable was able to proceed without delay.

“What’s important with these deals is that you properly assess the deal from an Australian perspective and in this case work with the other team to obtain the clearance,” said Miller.

Miller said the clearance work on deals has been increasing in recent months. Although the deals often don’t proceed, the work beforehand provides Minters, at least with a lot of work.

“So you’ll get a competition clearance, because you’ve got to have one, and you have to find Investments approval, because you’ve got have one, and then you find the commercial terms don’t gel. In this case the commercial terms did gel,” he said.

The ACCC announced on 20 October 2009 that it would not oppose the acquisition.

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Minters, Allens, work on Rio Tinto acquisition
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