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Firm secures expertise in Chinese SOEs

Firm secures expertise in Chinese SOEs

An Australian law firm says its role in the Baosteel acquisition of an Australian iron ore company has secured its position as a leader in this field.

THE firm that worked on Baosteel Group's acquisition of a 15 per cent stake in Australian iron ore explorer Aquila Resources said the deal secured its position as a leading adviser to Chinese SOEs on inbound investment. 

The $285.6 million investment in ASX-listed Aquila reinforced Corrs Chambers Westgarth's expertise in Chinese State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) on inbound investment in the Australian mining and resources sector, the firm said. 

The Australian government approved the deal last month, and Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval in late October, giving Baosteel the option to expand its stake in Aquila to 19.99 per cent. 

The FIRB decision gave Baosteel, China's largest steelmaker, the right to acquire a 15 per cent stake in Aquila Resources. With the deal completed, Baosteel has become Aquila's second largest shareholder. Aquila Resources is an iron ore, coal and manganese developer.

The acquisition was finalised at an official signing ceremony in Beijing,  attended by senior representatives from both organisations and Government officials from both countries. 

Corrs partner Adam Handley, who heads Corrs energy and resources group, said of the deal: "We are delighted to have assisted Baosteel with its first major overseas equity investment and look forward to working with Baosteel as it develops its strategic cooperation with Aquila.

“Our firm is honoured to be able to continue to represent a number of China's leading SOEs and private enterprises and are encouraged by the on-going strong level of interest that North Asian investors, and particularly the People’s Republic of China, are showing in the Australian energy and resources sector."

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