Linklaters aids BHP on consortium bid

Linklaters is strengthening its tie with dual-listed company BHP Billiton following its merger, by advising it on a consortium bid for a 100 per cent interest in International Columbia Resources (Intercor) from Exxon Mobil Corporation.
The deal value is undisclosed, but the net asset value of Intercor is $366m (£258.77m). Linklaters is advising the consortium, which consists of BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Glencore International AG.
Last year, BHP and Billiton conducted a £7.2bn merger, with Slaughter and May acting for BHP and Linklaters acting for Billiton.
Linklaters has been advising the consortium in relation to Columbia since September 1998, when it was set up. Billiton joined the consortium in September 2000, when it bought Rio Tinto's interest.
Intercor has a 50 per cent interest in the Cerrejon Zona Norte coal mining operation in Columbia. The other 50 per cent interest was purchased by the consortium in November 2000 from the Columbian government. Contracts were exchanged between the consortium and Exxon on 31 January and completion is due to take place at the beginning of March.
Exxon is not using external lawyers. Instead, in-house lawyer Judy Fernald is advising the board. Other advisers for the consortium include Vinson & Elkins, which is advising on US issues, Parra Rodríguez Cavelier & Velasquez, advising on Columbian law, and Webster Dyrud Mitchell advising on Anguillian law. Projects partner Fiona Hobbs is leading the team at Linklaters.
Linklaters frequently acts for Anglo American and has also advised Glencore International.