Xstrata’s bid, which was announced earlier today (17 May), rivals the previous takeover bid by Falconbridge’s rival Inco.
The magic circle firm advised Xstrata, on the Swiss mining group’s original purchase of a 20 per cent stake in Falconbridge last August. Freshfields also advised Xstrata on its acquisition of Glencore International's one third interest in the Cerrejon coal mining business in Colombia for US$1.7bn in March.
The Freshfields team is being led by corporate partner Julian Makin and finance partner Edward Evans. Canadian firm Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg is providing Xstrata with local law advice.
It is understood that Canada’s McCarthy Tetrault will be instructed to defend Falconbridge. The firm is already advising the company on the approach by Inco.
Xstrata will finance the Falconbridge acquisition through newly committed bank debt facilities, which have been underwritten by Barclays, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and the Royal Bank of Scotland.