Akin Gump Advises on $3.1 Billion Chinese Joint Venture in Argentina

(London, United Kingdom) – China’s state-owned energy company CNOOC will form a 50-50 joint venture by purchasing half of Argentina’s Bridas Corporation for approximately US$3.1 billion, the companies announced on Sunday.  Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is representing long-standing client Bridas – Argentina’s second-largest oil producer – in the transaction.  The transaction is conditional on certain governmental approvals in the People’s Republic of China and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2010.

The deal was headed by Akin Gump partner James C. Langdon Jr. and involved many weeks of intense negotiations in Beijing and Madrid led by London partners Steven Blakeley and Douglas B. Glass and London associate David N. Sewell.  The Akin Gump team also included partners Rick L. Burdick, Gemma L. Descoteaux, Seth R. Molay, Joseph L. Motes III, Mary O’Connor, Wynn H. Segall, James P. Tuite and Justin Williams; counsel C. Jeffrey Price; and associates Christian C. Davis and Jonathan H. Eisenman.  Baker & McKenzie advised CNOOC.

Rick L. Burdick, the leader of Akin Gump’s international corporate transactions practice, stated, “This high-profile transaction in one of our core sectors is at the very heart of our international corporate practice – a cross-border English law deal in the energy sector capitalising on our comprehensive understanding of the industry.”

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.  This latest energy transaction follows Akin Gump’s completion of a series of groundbreaking transactions in November 2009 on behalf of client Nobel Oil resulting in the establishment of the first Russian-Chinese joint venture in the Russian oil and gas industry.

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