Trio of US firms advise on BP’s disposal of Pan American Energy

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Baker & McKenzie and Sullivan & Cromwell have won the prize mandates on the sale of BP’s stake in its Argentinian joint venture, Pan American Energy.

Akin Gump corporate partners Seth Molay in Dallas and Steven Blakeley in London led the team acting for Bridas Corporation in the $7bn purchase of BP’s 60 per cent stake in the Argentinian asset. It previously held the minority 40 per cent stake.

Sullivan & Cromwell advised BP on the deal, with London-based corporate partner Stewart Robertson leading the team.

Bakers acted for Chinese oil and gas group CNOOC, owner of 50 per cent of Bridas Corporation following the establishment of a joint venture with Bridas Energy Holdings earlier this year.

Shanghai based M&A partner Bee Chun Boo led the Bakers team acting for CNOOC. Both Boo and Blakeley took key roles in CNOOC’s $3.1bn investment in Bridas in March (22 March 2010).

The sale of its Pan American Energy stake is part of a series of divestments of assets by BP following the Gulf of Mexico disaster earlier in the year. The oil giant set up a $20bn fund to help pay for claims resulting from April’s accident. It subsequently targeted around $30bn worth of asset sales.