CORRECTION, 1/4/2013, 3:50 p.m. EST: This article originally incorrectly identified which of the two Seoul-based Kim & Chang attorneys named Jason Lee is working on this deal, it is corporate attorney Jason W. Lee. We regret the error.
UPDATE, 1/4/2013, 3:50 p.m. EST: Norton Rose also advised ArcelorMittal and its Canadian subsidiary on the transaction. Names of lawyers from the firm advising on the deal have been added to the article’s seventh and eighth paragraphs. Also, Montreal-based Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt M&A partner Shahir Guindi is leading a team from that firm serving as Canadian transactional counsel to the investing consortium.
ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, said Wednesday it has agreed to sell a 15 percent stake in one of its Canadian iron ore businesses for $1.1 billion in cash. The stake is being acquired by a consortium that includes South Korean steel giant Posco and Taiwan-based China Steel Corporation.
The transaction’s terms call for the creation of a joint venture between the buyers and ArcelorMittal Mines Canada that will control ArcelorMittal’s iron ore mining assets in Eastern Canada’s Labrador Trough. The deal is expected to close in two installments in the first and second quarters of this year, pending regulatory approval by the Taiwanese government.
Reuters reports that Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal plans to use the proceeds from the sale to help pay off some of the debt it accrued while watching European demand for steel drop by 29 percent since the height of the financial crisis. The company’s debt totaled $23.2 billion at the end of September, according to Reuters.
In announcing the deal, ArcelorMittal said the joint venture would promote growth of the company’s mining business. The New York Times reports that the company is planning a $1.2 billion expansion of its Canadian mines.
Shearman & Sterling is advising ArcelorMittal on the sale with a team that includes M&A partners George Casey and George Karafotias in New York and London, respectively. M&A associates Rory O’Halloran and David Plattner are also working on the deal, along with European corporate associate Cecilia Ferreira. Shearman advised ArcelorMittal in May 2012 in connection with the sale of its Skyline Steel and Astralloy steel distribution units to Nucor Corporation for $605 million.
As The Am Law Daily recently reported, Shearman has had a busy few months on the deal-making front. The firm’s most significant recent matters include representing General Electric on last month’s $4.3 billion purchase of an aviation business from Avio and serving as European antitrust counsel to ICE on its $8.2 billion bid for NYSE Euronext.
Norton Rose is also advising both ArcelorMittal and its Canadian subsidiary, ArcelorMittal Mines Canada, on the transaction. Toronto-based M&A partner Dawn Whittaker is advising the parent company along with a team that includes corporate partners Eric Reither, Robert Eberschlag, and Janet Howard; as well as life science partner Jeremy Grushcow, tax partner Barry Segal, and antitrust partners Denis Gascon and Kevin Ackhurst.
Montreal-based finance partner Robert Borduas is leading another Norton Rose team advising ArcelorMittal Mines Canada on the deal. That team also includes real estate partner Mario Caron, finance partner Miguel Manzano, tax partner Derek Chiasson, litigation partner Richard Desgagnés, environmental senior partner Jean Piette, employment partner François Côté, and benefits and compensation senior partner Martin Rochette.
The investing consortium, meanwhile, has turned to a team from South Korean firm Kim & Chang led by Seoul-based corporate attorney Jason W. Lee, as its legal counsel on the deal, according to a source close to the transaction. (Lee did not immediately respond to The Am Law Daily‘s request for information on the firm’s deal team.) Kim & Chang has advised Posco on a number of past transactions, including the company’s $30 million investment in FuelCell Energy Inc. in May.