Akin Gump Advises Nobel Oil on First Russian-Chinese Joint Venture in the Russian Oil and Gas Industry

(Moscow, Russia) – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has advised Nobel Oil on the completion of a series of groundbreaking transactions, resulting in the establishment of what is understood to be the first Russian-Chinese joint venture in the Russian oil and gas industry. 

Nobel Oil is an oil and gas company with assets primarily in Russia’s Komi region.  Over a nine-month period, the company negotiated with Oriental Patron Financial Group, a Hong Kong investment group representing its partner in the project, China Investment Corporation.

The transactions, with an aggregate investment on the part of China Investment Corporation amounting to $300 million, involved a reorganization of the Nobel group of companies, a buyout of Nobel’s minority shareholders, the sale of a 50 percent stake in Nobel Oil to the China Investment Corporation/Oriental Patron Financial Group, and the establishment of an offshore joint venture vehicle.  

“This deal is significant not just for Nobel Oil as it partners with China Investment Corp., but because it may herald the start of a new era for the Russian oil and gas industry in terms of potential for working with China.  We were extremely pleased to use our cross-border joint venture and energy-sector expertise to help Nobel in this groundbreaking transaction,” said Andrei Danilov, Moscow office partner.

The Akin Gump team was led by Andrei Danilov and included lawyers from the firm’s Moscow and London offices: in Moscow, Mr. Danilov led a team of nine associates, while in London, partners Steve Blakeley and Justin Williams worked with five associates; in addition, the team was assisted by senior counsel Ying White and staff attorney Justin Liu of Akin Gump’s Beijing office.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 800 lawyers in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  The firm’s London and Moscow offices are home to teams of highly experienced English, U.S. and Russian-qualified lawyers who have been active in major transactions and litigation proceedings across the region for more than 15 years.  The lawyers are experienced in managing complex transactions, in particular corporate, energy, investment funds and private equity, financial restructuring, project finance and emerging markets.

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