McCarthy Tétrault is acting as lead counsel to Outokumpu of Finland in a high-profile transaction with Boliden of Sweden worth $1.1 billion. The transaction represents an important step by Outokumpu in its previously announced strategy of focusing on its stainless steel and other downstream metals businesses. The transaction also marks an important new phase in the long-awaited restructuring of the global base metals industry.
Boliden will acquire Outokumpu’s zinc and copper mining and smelting operations, including Outokumpu’s Tara zinc mine in Ireland, the Kokkola zinc smelter in Finland, the Odda zinc smelter in Norway, the Harjavalta copper smelter in Finland and Outokumpu Zinc Commercial in the Netherlands. Upon completion of the transaction, Boliden will become the world’s fourth largest zinc mining company and one of the world’s leading smelting companies. Outokumpu will become the largest shareholder in Boliden, holding 49 per cent of the company’s shares.
As part of this complex transaction, Boliden will also sell its Fabrication and Technology Sales units, with operations in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom, to Outokumpu in exchange for 5 million Outokumpu shares valued at approximately $74.5 million.
Boliden plans to arrange a new credit facility to finance part of the acquisition and, following the transaction, to complete a substantial rights offering in which Outokumpu will participate.
McCarthy Tétrault Chair and Chief Executive Officer Iain Scott said, “This recent transaction illustrates the global scale of our mining group, as well as the depth of our London office. We’re very proud to be among the few firms with the skills and experience to complete deals of this magnitude.”
“We are delighted to be assisting Outokumpu on this exciting transaction, which will transform Outokumpu and Boliden and mark a new phase in the restructuring of the base metals industry” said Glen Ireland.
McCarthy Tétrault’s London office is the largest office in Europe of any Canadian law firm. For the last several years, the UK Legal 500, one of the world’s leading legal directories, has ranked McCarthy Tétrault’s mining practice (as well as its project finance and telecommunications practices) as among the best in London. McCarthy Tétrault is the only Canadian firm to have achieved rankings from this publication in any category. The firm’s “excellent” mining practice is “particularly noted for cross-border projects”, according to the UK Legal 500.