Bakers seals Chinese buy of Brazilian metals outfit

Baker & McKenzie has advised a consortium of five Chinese companies on its acquisition of a $1.95bn (£1.2bn) stake in leading Brazilian metals company Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineracao (CBMM).

A multi-disciplinary, bilingual Baker & McKenzie team led by Beijing-based M&A partner Bee Chun Boo acted as international ­counsel for the ­consortium, which included CITIC Group, Anshan Iron & Steel Group Corporation, Baosteel Group Corporation, Shougang Corporation and Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group.

Boo’s team was supported by on-the-ground teams of lawyers in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York, and had lead responsibility for documentation, negotiations and general transaction management.

The acquisition consisted of a 15 per cent stake in CBMM, which is the world leader in niobium products, used mainly as an alloying element in the manufacture of steel.
Brazil holds the largest niobium reserves in the world. Key applications for the metal include the ­automotive industry, oil and gas transmission pipelines, large structures such as bridges, towers and ­buildings, and aircraft engines.

Other legal advisers for the Chinese consortium included Concord & Partners, who acted as Chinese counsel, and Machado Meyer, who were Brazilian counsel.
Brazilian firm Barbosa, Mussnich & Aragao acted as Brazilian counsel for CBMM, its selling ­shareholders and Brasil Warrant.