Melbourne, 2 February 2012: Clayton Utz has acted as key legal adviser to Norwegian-based chemical company Yara International ASA ("Yara") on a landmark deal that will see the company significantly expand its interests in Western Australia's booming Pilbara mining region.
Under the deal, signed on Tuesday 1 February, Yara will become the majority owner of Burrup Holdings Limited ("BHL") by increasing its stake in BHL from 35 to 51 per cent, for US$143 million. Yara will also become joint owner of BHL subsidiary Burrup Fertilisers Pty Ltd (to be renamed Yara Pilbara) together with oil and gas producer and explorer Apache Energy Limited ("Apache Energy"), which has acquired the remaining 49 percent interest in BHL for approximately US$439 million.
Burrup Fertilisers (Yara Pilbara) operates a billion-dollar liquid ammonia plant located on the Burrup Peninsula near Karratha. Yara and Apache Energy plan to develop a technical ammonium nitrate (TAN) plant on the Burrup Peninsula; TAN is the main raw material for Porous Ammonium Nitrate plus Fuel Oil (ANFO), the most widely used civil explosive currently in the market.
A cross-office, multidisciplinary Clayton Utz team led by a core team comprising Melbourne Corporate partner Rod Lyle, senior associate John Brewster, Perth Litigation partner Scott Crabb and senior associate David Benson, have worked alongside Yara for the past year on the complex, multi-jurisdictional deal.
Commenting on the firm's advisory role, Mr Lyle said: "We are pleased to have supported our client Yara in realising its strategic growth ambitions through successfully securing majority ownership of BHL and its key Pilbara asset," he said.
Yara is the world's leading chemical company that converts energy, natural minerals and nitrogen from the air into essential products for farmers and industrial customers. Apache Energy, a subsidiary of NYSE and Nasdaq listed Apache Corporation, has supplied natural gas to Burrup Fertilisers since production at the plant commenced in 2006.