Ashurst and Linklaters scoop mammoth Russian merger

Ashurst and Linklaters have landed key roles on the $30bn merger of Russia’s aluminium giants Rusal and Sual with Glencore to create the world’s largest aluminium producer.

But the two firms are likely to fight it out to advise the merged entity after Sual chairman Viktor Vekselberg told Russian media that he expects the new company to hold an initial public offering of its shareholding in London.

Ashurst, along with Russian firm Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners (EPA&P) and US firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, advised Rusal on its three-way merger with Russian rival Sual International and the alumina business of Swiss natural resources group Glencore International.

Linklaters advised both Sual and Glencore, with corporate partners Charlie Jacobs and Owen Clay advising the companies respectively.

Rusal will hold a majority 66 per cent stake in the merged company, with Sual holding 22 per cent and Glencore 12 per cent.

EPA&P, led by the firm’s chairman Dimitry Afanasiev, negotiated the principal terms of the transaction for Rusal and are advising on all Russian law and public policy aspects.

Afanasiev said: “This is also perhaps the first time that a Russian law firm has negotiated the principal terms of such a mega-deal and participated in its execution alongside some leading UK and US law firms.”

Ashurts’ team was led by corporate partners David Kershaw and Andrew Edge, working closely with Gibson Dunn New York-based corporate partner Dennis Friedman. In-house counsel on the merger is being led by Maksim Goldman for Sual, Richard Marshall for Glencore and Maxim Sokov for Rusal.