Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson and Paul Weiss have all won lead roles on the $2.33bn acquisition of US metals producer Aleris by Chinese entrepreneur Zhongwang.

The deal marks the highest price ever paid by a Chinese firm for a US metals company. Zhongwang USA is the investment firm of Liu Zhongtian, founder of the world’s second largest producer of aluminium extrusion, China Zhongwang.

Freshfields corporate and M&A partners Timothy Wilkins and Peter Lyons led Zhongwang’s legal advice in New York. The firm also fielded a team in Hong Kong, led by capital markets partner Teresa Ko.

Aleris turned to Fried Frank, with M&A partner Randi Lally and associate Benjamin Falk working on the deal. Paul Weiss advised Oaktree Capital Management, an investment firm which has owned and managed Aleris since 2010.

Beijing firm Jincheng Tongda & Neal advised Zhongwang in China, with partners Yang Chen, Peng Jun and Peng Lingyan heading the team.

Background to the deal

Last year Zhongwang was involved in an assets swap with Shanghai-listed CRED Holding, selling Liaoning Zhongwang Group for $4.3bn in return for majority control of the Beijing-based property company.

Latham & Watkins previously advised the company in its initial public offering (IPO) in 2009, with Commerce & Finance, Jingtian & Gongcheng, Conyers Dill, Morrison & Foerster and Richards Butler also working on the case.