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December 10, 2010 7:01 PM

Vinson & Elkins, Andrews Kurth Advise on Occidental/Sinopec Deal

Posted by Brian Baxter

Occidental Petroleum announced on Friday that it would sell its Argentine oil and gas assets to China's largest oil company for $2.45 billion.

The deal by state-owned China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation--commonly known as Sinopec--will see Asia's largest oil refiner increase its overseas reserves in order to meet growing domestic demand in China, Reuters reports.

Andrews Kurth M&A partners Doris Rodriguez and Paul Sève, energy partner Hong Irwin, banking and finance partner Thomas Perich, business transactions cochair Timothy Unger, energy counsel Randolph Bryant, and associate Kevin Li are advising Beijing-based Sinopec on the deal.

The team, which worked closely with Argentine firm Alfaro Abogados in advising Sinopec, was based out of Andrews Kurth's Dallas, Houston, and Beijing offices. (Perich is managing partner of the firm's Houston office.)

Vinson & Elkins is representing Occidental on the deal. M&A partners Marcia Backus in Houston and Xiao Yong in Hong Kong are advising the Los Angeles-based company, along with associates Shay Kuperman and Holly Warrington. Vinson has represented Occidental for 15 years on various oil and gas transactions.

The firm has also previously advised Sinopec, handling the Chinese energy giant's recent acquisition of a 40 percent stake in the Brazilian unit of Repsol, Spain's largest oil company, for $7.1 billion last month. Last summer, Vinson represented Sinopec on its $7.2 billion acquisition of Addax Petroleum in the largest-ever purchase of a foreign company by a Chinese buyer, according to our previous reports.

In addition to its deal with Sinopec, Occidental also announced on Friday that it would buy assets in Texas and North Dakota for $3.2 billion. An Occidental spokesman declined to comment on the company's legal advisers for that deal. (Occidental's general counsel is Donald de Brier, profiled in sibling publication Corporate Counsel four years ago in a special feature on in-house compensation.)

Both transactions are expected to close by the end of the first quarter in 2011.

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