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Clayton Utz and Freehills land roles on $1.3bn takeover

Clayton Utz and Freehills land roles on $1.3bn takeover

Two national law firms have landed plum roles on a $1.3 billion cross-border takeover offer.The Hong Kong listed Minmetals Resources has launched a $1.3 billion bid for the dual Canadian and…

Two national law firms have landed plum roles on a $1.3 billion cross-border takeover offer.

The Hong Kong listed Minmetals Resources has launched a $1.3 billion bid for the dual Canadian and Australian listed Anvil Mining Limited.

Freehills is acting for Minmetals with the firm's mining industry group leader John Tivey and partner Daniel Brealey leading its team on the transaction.

Clayton Utz is advising Anvil, whose operations are based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with partners Matthew Johnson and Gary Berson leading the firm's team. Berson has acted for Anvil Mining previously.

In 2005, Anvil Mining was at the centre of controversy when ABC's Four Corners aired a program that implicated the company in a 2004 massacre of at least 73 civilians in Kilwa, in the south-eastern corner of the country.

Anvil had provided vehicles and a plane to the Congolese army after earlier uprisings in the African nation, some of which were later used in the military operation at Kilwa.

A military court in the Democratic Republic of Congo later acquitted nine Congolese soldiers and three employees of Anvil with war crimes and complicity to commit war crimes.

In 2010, a class action against Anvil was filed by an association representing Congolese citizens affected by the massacre.

Lawyers Weekly contacted Clayton Utz to seek comment on whether it considered it to be acceptable to have Anvil Mining Limited as a client, but at the time of going to press, the firm had not responded with an official response.

Minmetals bid for Anvil represents its further expansion into Africa, with Freehills usually its firm of choice when there are Australian aspects to its international transactions.

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