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Orica and Exxon offload

Orica and Exxon offload

Blake Dawson Waldron advised Orica and Exxon Mobil on the sale of their 50/50 plastics joint venture Qenos. The companies sold Qenos to state-owned diversified chemicals company China National…

Blake Dawson Waldron advised Orica

and Exxon Mobil on the sale of their

50/50 plastics joint venture Qenos. The

companies sold Qenos to state-owned

diversified chemicals company China

National Chemical Corporation.

The decision to sell was made after

Qenos posted a series of losses, partly

as a result of rising input costs. BDW

partner Peter Stirling said dealing with

a “major Chinese multinational” added

interesting and challenging aspects to

the deal.

“There were aspects of the transac

tion that were of concern to them, on

which they focus, that we wouldn’t nor

mally focus on, and vice versa,” he said,

but most of these issues were worked

through with no difficulties.

The transaction itself was a “reason

ably complex business”, with some envi

ronmental aspects to deal with. “From a

legal perspective there were quite a few

issues to get through, and it took a bit of

time dealing with those,” Stirling said.

The fact that Qenos was a joint ven

ture also added to the challenge. “We had

two [sets of] shareholders’ interests to

deal with, together with the concerns of

China National Chemical Corporation,

so the multi-party aspect was most chal

lenging.” The transaction was conducted

through a trade sale process, and “nec

essarily took a long time” because of sig

nificant interest from industry players

and private equity funds.

The deal still requires approval

from the foreign investment review

board and the People’s Republic of

China Government.

China National Chemical Corpora

tion was advised by Corrs Chambers

Westgarth in Sydney and Skaddens in

Beijing.

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