Clayton Utz was local counsel for Oxiana Limited on its recent issue of bonds convertible into ordinary shares in Oxiana. Jones Day was the overseas counsel and Citigroup was the sole arranger and underwriter, represented by Linklaters. The Melbourne-based miner had expected to raise at least $97.73 million but raised the base size of its bond issue to $117.32 million after receiving strong demand from institutional investors in Australia and overseas.
Melbourne-based Clayton Utz corporate partner Ron Smooker, who was assisted on the deal by solicitor Amanda Jones, said although it is increasingly common for Australian corporates to access foreign bond markets, this was one of the few times it had been done by a mid cap Australian mining company. He said the deal was slightly more complex than the average Eurobond issue due to the geographical breadth of Oxiana’s operations (including interests in Laos, China, Thailand, Cyprus, the Philippines and Australia) and the educative process of explaining Australian taxation and native title laws to overseas counsel. There were also issues of the inter-relationship of the bonds to the existing project finance for Oxiana’s Sepon project in Laos.
Freehills acted for the Babcock & Brown Japan Property Trust in its IPO and listing on the Australian Stock Exchange. Jim Graham (senior partner — corporate) and Tim McEwen (senior associate — corporate) led the Freehills team. The Trust is the only Australian listed property trust with a strategy to invest into the real estate market of Japan, and is the first property trust to list in two years. Freehills acted for the Trust in obtaining the appropriate Australian Financial Services Licence, the preparation of the product disclosure statement, the negotiation of the Japanese investment arrangements and the necessary liaison with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the ASX. B&B has been involved in the Japanese property market since 1986. The bank, which was listed on the ASX last year, has also listed Prime Infrastructure, B&B Capital and Everest Babcock & Brown Alternative Investments.