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Corrs advises on major Indian investment

Corrs advises on major Indian investment

Corrs Chambers Westgarth has advised administrators Brian McMaster and Scott Kershaw of KordaMentha on the sale of Griffin Coal Mining Company Pty Ltd (administrators appointed) to Indian…

Corrs Chambers Westgarth has advised administrators Brian McMaster and Scott Kershaw of KordaMentha on the sale of Griffin Coal Mining Company Pty Ltd (administrators appointed) to Indian company Lanco Infratech, for an undisclosed sum.

The deal is reported to be the largest in-bound Indian investment in the Australian coal mining sector to date.

Griffin Coal went into administration in January 2010 when it defaulted on a coupon payment of $25 million under its US bonds. As a result, McMaster and Kershaw were appointed as administrators.

Commenting on the deal, Corrs partner Iain Laughland said:

"The administration has been long and complex with a number of critical operational matters such as port access and coal supply contracts needing to be resolved before the sale, together with the added complication of the administration companies being only part of the large Devereaux Group headed by Ric Stowe.

"The transaction also requires a pre-sale divestment of Griffin Coal's power station assets which will be sold separately by the administrators in due course. The final stages of the sale to Lanco were completed in a short timeframe and it involved a huge team effort among KordaMentha and its advisers, including UBS, Macquarie, Baker & McKenzie and ourselves to get to the point of inking the deal."

In addition to the sale, Corrs has advised the administrators on a number of aspects of the administration, including advising on interim funding requirements to allow the business to continue to operate, general insolvency matters and matters related to the separation of Griffin Coal from the larger Devereaux Group.

The sale is due to close later this month.

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