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Rio Tinto saw 12 per cent of its London shares snapped up by Chinese rival Chinalco and US aluminium group Alcoa in a $14bn (£7.1bn) dawn raid. Chinalco was represented by Clifford Chance, led by corporate partner Kathy Honeywood, while Macfarlanes acted for Alcoa in the acquisition. On 5 February UK-listed mining company BHP Billiton re-entered the fray with a formal £75bn offer for Rio Tinto. BHP and Rio Tinto are being represented by Slaughter and May and Linklaters respectively.
The Macfarlanes team was led by Graham Gibb with head of debt finance Julian Howard and senior partner Robert Sutton assisting. Alcoa was advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton on antitrust issues and Watchell Lipton Rosen & Katz in the US. Chinalco was advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in the US and Mallesons Stephen Jaques in Australia.