Blakes is acting for Hardman Resources, and Freehills for Tullow Oil.
Hardman is an Australian-based oil and gas exploration company with projects in Africa and South America.
Tullow, headquartered in London and listed on the London and Irish Stock Exchanges, is one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in Europe with a diverse portfolio of licences in 17 countries.
“[The] transaction drew on the strengths of both the corporate and banking teams, who under a tight timeframe, worked closely with Tullow’s UK advisers to deliver a successful outcome,” said Tony Damian, Freehills’ lead partner on the deal.
Elizabeth Pakchung and senior associate Sarah de Flamingh of Blakes are advising Hardman along with its commercial advisers Emerald Partners and Morgan Stanley.
Pakchung said Blakes “advised Hardman extensively on all Australian law aspects of the proposed acquisition and worked within a very tight timeframe to reach an agreed recommended proposal.”
Damian at Freehills said the acquisition of Hardman will add 16 incremental exploration wells, double Tullow’s prospective acreage position and substantially increase production and contingent reserves.
The offer is for $2.02 per share, with a capped Tullow share alternative. The cash consideration component is being funded by a US$1 ($1.3) billion facility with Bank of Scotland Corporate.
As well as Pakchung and de Flamingh, Blakes’ team included Stuart Napthali, Bruce Macdonald, Bill Koeck, James Mayne, and Joanne Lennan in the firm’s corporate division and Rod Cox and Barbara Phair in tax.
Blakes worked closely with Hardman Resources’ general counsel Richard O’Shannassy
As well as Damian, Freehills’ team included Andrew Pike in M&A, working with Fiona Scattergood and Daniel Krutik on corporate aspects of the deal, and banking partner Patrick St John and senior associate Melita Cottrell on financing arrangements.
Freehills said it is working closely with Tullow financial adviser Merrill Lynch and its UK legal adviser Colin MacNeill from Dickson Minto.