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Conyers Advises Vale SA in $1.6bn Rio Tinto Asset Sale

September 2009

Conyers Dill & Pearman advised on the US $1.6 billion asset sale by Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto plc to Vale SA, the second largest miner in the world and the largest in Brazil. The transaction was completed on Friday, September 18 with the $750 million sale of Rio Tinto’s iron ore mine in Corumbá to Vale, following permission from Brazil’s National Defence Council at the beginning of last week.

The transaction is part of Rio Tinto’s $1.6 billion deal to sell a range of iron ore and potash mines in South America to Vale, and follows its sale of potash assets worth $850 million to Vale earlier this year.

Conyers lawyers Robert Briant, John France and Anton Goldstein advised Vale SA on the British Virgin Islands legal aspects of the deal, while Cleary Gottlieb in London acted as international counsel for Vale. Allens Arthur Robinson in Australia acted as international counsel for Rio Tinto and a number of South American firms. This multi-jurisdictional transaction involved several BVI companies with multiple assets being acquired.

Vale SA is the world’s largest producer of iron ore, pellets, and second largest of nickel. Potash is a potassium compound that is used in making fertilizer, glass and soap.

 

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