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Deals 3 December 2004

Deals 3 December 2004

Minter Ellison’s US, Sydney, Melbourne and NZ offices advised Atkins Nutritionals on the start up of their business operations in Australia, which now joins the international distribution…

Minter Ellisons US, Sydney, Melbourne and NZ offices advised Atkins Nutritionals on the start up of their business operations in Australia, which now joins the international distribution network of Atkins food products. The Minter Ellison team in San Francisco coordinated all the initial set-up work in the US with Atkins’ US management. They then worked with lawyers in the firm’s Sydney, Melbourne and NZ offices to establish the corporate entity, tax, banking and finance, employment arrangements and litigation.

Darren Gardner, managing partner of Minter Ellison’s San Francisco office, led the US-based team. In Australia, Odette Gourley anchored the work and Robert Falvey was the partner responsible for NZ aspects of the deal. Minters’ said the the project’s success relied heavily on the “efficient and seamless” work of Minter Ellison’s international network, including lawyers in four offices across three countries and time zones.

Deacons acted for Bendigo Mining Ltd (BML) in the company’s successful bid to recommence gold mining at Bendigo after a 50-year gap. The underground gold mine, 600 metres directly beneath the city of Bendigo, was recently approved after nearly a decade of exploration and environmental impact assessments by the Victorian and Federal Governments. Deacons partner Peter Barber has worked on the New Bendigo Gold project for about eight years. One of his primary roles was to present evidence that the mine would not contravene legislation protecting rare habitats where the mine had to be dug. The mine is expected to be in production next year and will be the biggest underground gold mine in Australia.

Clifford Chance acted for Citigroup in its acquisition of a 9.75 per cent stake in Silver Grant International Industries Limited and its subscription of a convertible note issued by Silver Grant with a principal value of US$52.5 million. Silver Grant is an infrastructure and property investor controlled by Beijing-based China Cinda Asset Management Corp., one of four Chinese state-owned asset management companies established in 1999 to take on non-performing loans from restructuring Chinese banks. Clifford Chance said the deal comes amid signs Chinese regulators are speeding up the approval of NPL deals.

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