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A coal deal that threatened to become a fiery blaze has instead turned into a controlled flame. As a result, three of Canada’s largest producers of metallurgical coal — used in steelmaking — will be melded into a single entity. The drama started last fall, when Fording Inc. became the target of a takeover attempt by fellow coal producer Sherritt International Corp. and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board. The two would-be acquirors formed a venture called Sherritt Coal Partnership II and made a bid initially valued at $1.1 billion. In December, Fording marshaled its defenses by linking up with Teck Cominco Ltd., another coal company, and Westshore Terminals Income Fund. The white knights proposed converting Fording into a public income trust. The following month, Sherritt Coal Partnership II responded with an income trust plan of its own, valued at $1.2 billion. On January 13 all parties struck a friendly deal to form the Fording Canadian Coal Trust, a combination of the metallurgical coal assets of Fording, Teck Cominco, and Sherritt. The new business will be the world’s second-largest metallurgical coal company, producing 20 percent of the global supply. As part of the transaction, Fording’s thermal coal assets were purchased for $148 million by Sherritt Coal, which combined it with its Luscar Ltd. unit, the largest producer of thermal coal in Canada. The deal closed in February, after winning approval from a Canadian court and Fording shareholders. For acquiror Sherritt Coal Partnership II (Toronto) In-house: General counsel Samuel Ingram. Torys (Toronto): M&A: Geoffrey Creighton, Michael Siltala, Patrice Walch-Watson, and associates Harry Gousopoulos, Alexandra Kau, Tamara Kronis, Phillip Panet, and Amanda Roelofsen. Tax: John Unger and associate Ronald Nobrega. Banking: Adam Delean, Alison Lacy, and associates Sonia Campbell, Suh Kim, and Conrad Sheppard. Litigation: James Tory. (Kau works in the firm’s New York office.) Bennett Jones (Calgary): Litigation: John Rook. Corporate: associate Y. Beth Riley. (Rook works in the firm’s Toronto office.) Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw (Chicago): M&A: James Junewicz and James Lidbury. Securities: counsel Donald Zeithaml, Jr., and associates H. Richard Hagen and Rebecca Robeson. Finance: J. Paul Forrester and Salvatore Guerrera. Trade regulation: Simeon Kriesberg. Antitrust: Scott Perlman. Investment and regulatory: Michael Butowsky, Stuart Strauss, and associate James Dwyer. Corporate: associate Matthew Shabat. For acquiror Teck Cominco Ltd. (Vancouver) In-house: Vice president — commercial and legal affairs Peter Rozee. Lang Michener (Toronto): M&A/securities: Geofrey Myers, Hellen Siwanowicz, and Adam Taylor. Corporate finance: Robert Cranston. Corporate strategy: Warren Seyffert. Due diligence: Charlotte Olsen. Competition: James Musgrove. (Olsen works in the firm’s Vancouver office.) Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison (New York): Corporate: Edwin Maynard, counsel Didier Malaquin, and associates Valerie Demont and Thomas Majewski. For acquiror Westshore Terminals Income Fund (Vancouver) Lawson Lundell (Vancouver): Corporate and commercial: John Smith. For target Fording Inc. (Calgary) In-house: Corporate secretary James Jones. Osler Hoskin & Harcourt (Toronto): Commercial real estate: Sherri Fountain. Competition: Peter Glossop and associate Steve Sansom. Tax: Jack Silverson, Donald Watkins, and associates Nancy Diep and Alex Pankratz. Pensions and benefits: Paul Litner. M&A: Stan Magidson, Christopher Murray, Frank Turner, and associate Andrée Blais. Litigation: Tristram Mallett. Energy: R. Jack Thrasher. Corporate: associates Pierre Magnan, Peter Piliounis, Michal Pomotov, and Gavin Price. Income trusts: associates Joseph Cosentino and Brian Temins. Benefits: associates Terra Klinck and Deron Waldock. Employment: associate Damian Rigolo. (Fountain, Watkins, Diep, Magidson, Turner, Blais, Mallett, Thrasher, Magnan, Piliounis, and Price are in the firm’s Calgary office.) Sidley Austin Brown & Wood (Chicago): Corporate: Jon Gregg, Steven Sutherland, and associate James Carey. M&A: Scott Freeman. Tax: Robert Wootton. Corporate securities: Harlan Cohen. (Freeman and Cohen work in the firm’s New York office.) White & Case (New York): Antitrust: M. Elaine Johnston, Mark Powell, and associates Lutz Becker and David Ernst. (Powell works in the firm’s Brussels office, and Becker works in Hamburg.) — B.R.

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