Corus cans Slaughters for Lovells in aluminium selloff

Lovells has completed the first phase of the sale of the steelmaker's entire global aluminium interests, worth an estimated £800m.
Earlier this year, Lovells beat off competition from Slaughter and May to win the work.
Slaughters recently acted for Corus in its groundbreaking merger with Brazilian steel giant Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN). However, Lovells has handled some of Corus's work in the past, including a failed attempt at an acquisition in Germany last year.
It successfully pitched for the aluminium sale work following a recommendation from Corus's financial advisers Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB). The firm's instruction includes the sale of Corus's entire global aluminium interests, which means it does not have to pitch for individual sales.
The firm has completed stage one, which involved the sale of Corus's 20 per cent stake in the Aluminerie Alouette smelter in Quebec, Canada, to Alcan, the world's second-largest aluminium producer, for $165m (£107.5m).
This is subject to approval by the Canadian competition authority, which is due to give its verdict this month. Competition partner Neil Katz of Canadian firm Fraser Milner Casgrain and Lovells London partners are handling this part.
Oliver Felsenstein, Lovells deputy managing partner and leader of the firm's 50-lawyer team in the transaction, also attributed the firm's instruction to the fact that the deal required lawyers based in several jurisdictions. The completed transaction drew in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the US. Felsenstein said that Lovells has significant capacities in or near all of these jurisdictions, while Slaughters does not.
Aluminium-related tra-nsactions are multijurisdictional due to the large number of subsidiaries attached to such businesses. Felsenstein said this also makes it interesting work for lawyers. “Aluminerie Alouette had its entity in Canada, the seller was part Dutch and part British, and it had subsidiaries in various jurisdictions,” he said. “[The completed sale] also involved a separation of its aluminium and steel arms, which before was one big family. This was very challenging as it involved numerous jurisdictions.”
Lovells is currently engaged in selling off the remainder of Corus's aluminium interests. This includes a smelter in both Germany and the Netherlands, plus plants in Belgium, Canada, China and Germany, which produce aluminium metal products for customers that include companies within the aerospace industry.
Lovells has around 10 partners and 40 associates involved worldwide, although during the due diligence stage, this number was higher.
Alcan's deputy general counsel Pierre Chernard led an in-house team and did not instruct an external firm.