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June 22, 2009 11:51 AM

Freshfields, Links on Proposed $68 Billion Mining Merger

Posted by Zach Lowe

Next to the red-hot pharmaceutical industry, there may not be a more active M&A sector in the world right now than mining, as companies scramble for access to iron ore and emerging markets. Some of the most notable megadeals have fallen apart--remember BHP Billiton-Rio Tinto?--but the (mostly) U.K. law firms that have a stranglehold on the mining industry are getting a ton of work when they need it most. 

The newest megadeal is Xstrata's merger pitch to Anglo American, a deal that would create a company with a combined market value of about $68 billion, according to The New York Times

Our colleagues at Legal Week, our U.K. sibling publication, have the law firm breakdown for you, and it has some familiar names. Linklaters is advising Anglo American on the deal. The firm has been all over the major proposed mining deals because of its role representing Rio Tinto in the BHP Billiton talks and its aborted $19 billion agreement to combine with the Chinese giant Chinalco, according to Legal Week. Partners Michael Sullivan and Clodagh Hayes are leading the Linklaters team for Anglo American, Legal Week says. 

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is taking its usual spot as Switzerland-based Xstrata's lead counsel, the paper says. Corporate partner Julian Makin manages the firm's relationship with Xstrata, and has advised the company on several major deals in the last year. 

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