Clifford Chance Advises Sumitomo on US$1 Billion Purchase with Glencore of Rio Tinto Coal Mine Stake in Queensland

Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has advised longstanding client Sumitomo Corporation on its joint purchase with Glencore Xstrata plc of a 50.1 per cent interest in the Clermont coal mine in Queensland, Australia from Rio Tinto plc.

In a deal valued at US$1.015 billion, each company will hold a 25.05 per cent interest in the mine through a joint venture, GS Coal.

Clermont is Australia’s third largest thermal coal mine.

“We are very pleased to have supported Sumitomo and Glencore on this acquisition,” said Clifford Chance partner Mark Pistilli, who led the team advising Sumitomo.

“We have been involved in the acquisition and disposal of coal projects in which Sumitomo and Glencore have had interests for over 15 years, and it is good to see their continued confidence in, and commitment to, this sector in Australia.”

“The Clermont transaction required a very complex arrangement, given the nature of the underlying asset and its structure, and it was pleasing to work through the issues productively with our colleagues at KWM and Allens Arthur Robinson.”

“Regulatory approval for the acquisition will be required in a number of countries, which will involve our global antitrust team advising the acquirers from a number of Clifford Chance’s offices in Australia, Asia Pacific and Europe.”

Mark was assisted by corporate associates Deniz Tas and Owen Thomas, and by antitrust associate Nicole Hogan – all are based in Sydney. Brussels partners Tony Reeves and Frances Dethmers are working with the team to advise the acquirers on regulatory approvals.

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