ALLENS Arthur Robinson and Maddocks have advised on OneSteel Limited's acquisition of WPG Resources Limited's iron ore assets for $346 million.
Approval for the sale was given at a meeting of shareholders this week, in a deal that's been labelled as highlighting an evolution in the declining steel sector.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that iron ore is an ingredient in steel production, but steel makers like OneSteel now often find it more profitable to sell iron ore to Asia rather than turning it into steel.
It reports that companies such as OneSteel and BlueScope have been forced to cut jobs this year as the businesses struggle to compete with cheap Asian producers.
Allens Arthur Robinson advised OneSteel on the deal. Allens corporate Partner Andrew Finch, who was assisted by banking and finance partner Nicolas Adkins and mergers and acquisitions senior associate Michael Scarf, said that the acquisition represents an important growth opportunity for OneSteel's existing iron ore operations in South Australia.
'The acquisition allows OneSteel to leverage and expand its existing infrastructure in the Port of Whyalla by increasing throughput of iron ore in conjunction with OneSteel's existing Middleback Range operations,' he said.
'We were pleased and privileged to be able to assist our longstanding client, OneSteel, on such an important strategic acquisition.'
Allens has worked with OneSteel on a number of major transactions, including the steel giant's November 2010 acquisition of global mining leader Anglo American plc's Moly-Cop and AltaSteel businesses in the Americas for US$932 million.
Maddocks acted for WPG Resources. The firm's consultant Jeff Goss led the Maddocks M&A team, assisted by M&A partner Andrew McNee and banking and finance partner Sean Rush, and a group of specialist M&A and commercial lawyers.
"This has been a challenging and complex transaction and has drawn on the diverse skills and expertise of our team members," said Goss.
The Maddocks team has been working with WPG Resources Limited on a number of transactions over the past year, including on the successful capital raising for the Peculiar Knob project in South Australia, the joint venture arrangements with Evergreen in relation to WPG's coal assets and now the sale to OneSteel of WPG's iron ore assets.
"We are proud to have assisted WPG Resources with this sale, which is set to deliver a number of attractive benefits to WPG shareholders. It was fabulous to work in tandem with WPG's executive team to achieve the sale in just two weeks," Goss said.