Vinson & Elkins is advising Chinese oil company Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation on its proposed $8.8bn (£5.3bn) takeover of Addax Petroleum.
Vinson was instructed through a longstanding relationship struck up by China head Xiao Yong and Beijing office partner Paul Deemer.
The transaction would see Sinopec increase substantially its global coverage through the control of Addax assets in Kurdistan, Iraq and in West Africa.
Vinson London-based partner François Feuillat said: “This is part of China’s overall strategy of buying into the oil, gas and minerals sectors. Addax has assets in Kurdistan, which is quite interesting from a due diligence perspective. The [Iraqi] oil law [which determines whether the federal or regional government can dispose of reserves in Kurdistan] has been on the cards for some time – they only reached a settlement in the last few weeks. Canada-based Addax is the second company with assets in Kurdistan to be bought in a short space of time. It might herald the acquisition of [more] companies [there].”
If the deal completes as planned in August, Sinopec would acquire all of Addax’s outstanding shares for C$52.80 (£27.70) per common share in cash, together with a considerable amount of debt, including listed convertible bonds.
Other Vinson partners involved include Shanghai-based partner David Blumental, London-based Alex Msimang and Tokyo-based James Atkin.
Fasken Martineau Toronto-based national head of securities and M&A David Steinberg and head of mining John Turner are leading the team advising Addax on the deal. They are working closely with Addax general counsel David Codd.
Other Fasken lawyers on the deal are Krisztián Tóth, Aaron Atkinson, Huy Do, Amanda Fullerton, Nigel Gordon and Tanner Helwig.