Links scores key role on Kazakhmys acquisition

Linklaters got the nod on a key acquisition by FTSE100 mining client Kazakhmys, Kazakhstan’s biggest copper producer.

Corporate partner and head of mining Charlie Jacobs said the magic circle firm got to know the client after working on its 2005 flotation.

Norton Rose advised Kazakhmys on its London IPO, while Linklaters advised the underwriters. Although Norton Rose still advises the company, the instruction is a boon for Linklaters and further strengthens its expertise in the mining sector.

This most recent deal saw Kazakhmys buy an 18.8 per cent stake in fellow Kazakhstan-based mining company Eurasian Natural Resources Company (ENRC) from its own chairman Vladimir Kim for $810m (£402m). ENRC has valuable iron-ore supplies, which diversifies Kazakhmys’ assets.

Jacobs and senior associate Alex Moller advised Kazakhmys, while ENRC turned to Slaughter and May‘s Dutch best friend De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. Amsterdam-based corporate partner Paul Cronheim led the team. Kim, meanwhile, took local law advice.

The deal had been planned in March, when Kazakhmys contemplated making a play for the whole of ENRC, which is an unlisted company. Worries over the amount of due diligence possible put a halt to the plan, but Kim – who is Kazakhmys’ biggest stakeholder – bought a 25 per cent stake in ENRC, with Kazakhmys holding the option of buying the stake at a later date.

The news follows Kazakhmys’ interim results, which showed a 24 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to $1.9bn (£940m). The company announced that it would be returning $700m (£347m) to shareholders through a buy-back programme and through special dividends, on which Linklaters also advised.