Wheaton River Minerals Ltd. and Northern Orion Resources Inc. acquired from Rio Algom Limited through jointly-owned holding companies, an indirect aggregate 25 per cent interest in the Bajo de la Alumbrera mine in Argentina on June 24, 2003 through the indirect purchase of shares in Minera Alumbrera Ltd., and through the acquisition of subordinated debt associated with the project. The aggregate purchase price paid was US$180 million. This acquisition resulted in increasing Wheaton River’s indirect holdings in the mine to an aggregate of 37.5 per cent. Wheaton River Minerals raised a portion of its share of the purchase price through a US$75 million syndicated banking facility.
Wheaton River Minerals was represented by Paul Stein, Ann Watterworth and Laurie LaPalme (acquisition) and Renate Herbst and Bruce Bell (financing) of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, and assisted in connection with the acquisition by Philip Paschalides and Julian Black of Walkers in the Cayman Islands; by Russell DaSilva of Lovells in New York; and by Esteban Ropolo and Gonzalo Cáceres of Baker & McKenzie in Argentina; and in connection with the banking facility by Gordon Stewart, Oliver Orton and Margaret Dowell-Jones of Richards Butler in London; by Monique Stella and Naomi Kelly of Phillips Fox in Australia; and by Manuel Galicia Romero and Rodrigo Cortina of Franck, Galicia Y Robles, S.C. in Mexico.
Northern Orion Resources was represented by Michael Allen and Argiro Kotsalis of Stikeman Elliott LLP in Vancouver with respect to the acquisition and related ownership arrangements, and by Neville McClure and Inge Poulus with respect to Northern Orion Resources’s equity issue; assisted in the U.S. by Amy Weaver and Bryan Smith of Perkins Coie in Seattle. Mark Bennett and Chad Accursi of Cassels Brock & Blackwell acted for the underwriting syndicate, led by Griffiths McBurney & Partners and BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., and assisted by Gil Cornblum, John Hollinrake and Gabe Gartner of Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Toronto.
Rio Algom was represented by in-house counsel Michael Neumann and Mary Prendergast, and by Bruce Blain, Gregory Ho Yuen and Thomas Meagher of Fasken Martineau Du Moulin LLP in Toronto; by Stewart Robertson, Christine Spillane and Sara Stapleton of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in London; and by Matthew Gardner of Maples and Calder in the Cayman Islands.
The banks were represented by Ian Coles and Morgan Carroll of Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw LLP in London; assisted in Canada by John Teolis and Simon Finch of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP; by David Enriquez of Goodrich Riquelme & Associates in Mexico; and by Stuart Weir and Chuong Nguyen of Allens Arthur Robinson in Australia.