13 August 2012

Clayton Utz advises Nippon Steel Corporation on US$1.36bn JV with BlueScope Steel

Sydney, 13 August 2012: A Clayton Utz team has advised longstanding client, Japanese steel manufacturer Nippon Steel Corporation ("Nippon Steel"), on a US$1.36bn joint venture with BlueScope Steel ("BlueScope") to establish a new coated products business, NS BlueScope Coated Products, in South-East Asia and North America. The deal was announced to the market today.

Clayton Utz partner and national Corporate practice head Graham Taylor led the firm's team that advised Nippon Steel on the deal. Other members of the core Clayton Utz team were senior associates Joel von Thien, Samy Mansour and lawyer Jess Salinger. Partner Linda Evans and senior associate Sian-lee Ooi provided advice in relation to the competition aspects of the transaction, with partner Jim FitzSimons and senior associate Peter Callaghan assisting with matters relating to intellectual property.

Clayton Utz was supported by firms in South-East Asia and the United States.

Under the terms of the agreement, Nippon Steel will acquire a 50 per cent equity interest in BlueScope's existing holdings in 14 coated products businesses in South-East Asia and North America, which will be reorganised into a 50:50 joint venture between Nippon and BlueScope to form NS BlueScope Coated Products.

The new business will be headquartered in Singapore and will comprise BlueScope's hot-dip galvanised sheet and painted sheet businesses in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the US, and roll-formed building products businesses in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam and the US. Nippon Steel will also supply the joint venture substrates (hot- and cold-rolled coils) for hot-dip galvanised sheets on a stable basis.

Graham said Clayton Utz was pleased to have supported Nippon Steel in a strategically significant deal that will provide it with exposure to key markets where there is strong demand for building products, particularly in South-East Asia.

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