Estatia Acquires Meridian Technologies

On March 1, 2007 628579 NB Inc., a New Brunswick joint venture corporation indirectly controlled by Estatia AG of Switzerland, completed its acquisition all of the shares of privately held Meridian Technologies Inc. from Teksid S.P.A. of Italy and Hydro Aluminium AS of Norway.

The acquisition of the shares of Meridian was based on an enterprise value of the business of $200 million. Acquisition financing was provided through: (i) private placement transactions of equity and debt to private investors, (ii) senior credit facilities provided by GE Canada Finance Holding Company as agent and lender, General Electric Capital Corporation as US administrative agent, the lenders party thereto and GE Capital Markets, Inc. and Landsbanki Islands hf of Iceland as co-lead arrangers, and (iii) a second lien credit facility provided by GE Canada Finance Holding Company as agent and lender, the lenders party thereto and GE Capital Markets, Inc. as lead arranger.

Meridian, which is headquartered in Strathroy, Ontario, is the world's largest supplier of die-cast magnesium components to the automotive industry and employs approximately 1,350 people at six production facilities in five countries.

Estatia and its affiliates were represented in Canada by Stikeman Elliott LLP, with a team that included James Davis and Jennifer Legge (corporate and banking); Timothy Chubb and David Pickwoad (corporate); Kenton Rein, Aaron Fransen (banking); Jeff Brown and Deborah Salzberger (regulatory); Larry Cobb (environmental); Brenda Hebert, Ignatius Navascues (real estate), Kevin Kelly, Trevor McGowan and Leela Hemmings (tax); Lorna Cuthbert, Nancy Ramalho and Lisa De Piante (labour & employment); Andrea Boctor (pensions) and by Paul Smith at Stewart McKelvey.

Meridian and Meridian's shareholders were represented by Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP with a team that included David Toswell and Chris Javornik (corporate).

GE Canada Finance Holding Company, General Electric Capital Corporation and Landsbanki Islands hf were represented in Canada and the United Kingdom by McCarthy Tétrault LLP by a team that included Joel Scoler, Richard Higa (banking) Douglas Cannon and James Morand (tax), Gregory Winfield (pensions), Mark Frewin (banking–UK), Edward Ra, Justin Lapedus and Natali Alonso (banking) and Alexis Wiseman (real estate).