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Allen & Overy advises Sandfire on USD1.86bn acquisition of MATSA mining complex in Spain

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Geoff Simpson

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Luke Nicholls

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Anna Lee

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Ignacio Hornedo

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Vanessa Cuellas

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Jaime Rodriguez

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30 September 2021

Allen & Overy has advised Sandfire Resources Limited (“Sandfire”, ASX: SFR) on its acquisition of Minas de Aguas Tenidas S.A. (“MATSA”) from Mubadala Investment Company and Trafigura for USD1.865 billion (AUD2.572bn). 

The acquisition, which Sandfire CEO Karl Simich has described as “transformational” and a “game changer” for the company, makes Sandfire one of Australia’s largest copper-focused producers and a global leader in diversified base metals production. 

The transaction involved a number of unique aspects including an equity raising, which enabled Sandfire to acquire an asset that is more than twice its market capitalisation in size.  

A&O partner Geoff Simpson commented: “With the acquisition of MATSA, Sandfire has launched itself into the top tier of global diversified base metal producers, and is now one of Australia’s largest copper-focused producers. Allen & Overy is delighted to support Sandfire on this significant achievement.

This deal provided A&O an opportunity to draw on our global reach and local depth. While our Australian team worked closely with Sandfire’s local team in Western Australia, our Madrid and London teams also worked seamlessly to support Sandfire around the world on this sizeable acquisition.”

MATSA is located in the highly regarded Iberian Pyrite Belt, approximately 130km from Seville in Spain. MATSA comprises three significant underground mining operations producing 100-120ktpa CuEq (copper equivalent) per annum. In addition to copper, the mine also produces zinc and lead (with gold by-product) through its world-class central processing facility.

The A&O team was co-led by partner Geoff Simpson and counsels Luke Nicholls and Anna Lee, and was supported in Australia by partner Goran Galic, senior associate Nick Harford, associates Julia Burvill and Frank Main and graduate Helena Nguyen. The Australian team also included partners Tony Sparks and Jason Gray, and associates Steven Shuldman and James Clark

The Madrid A&O team was led by partner Ignacio Hornedo, supported by partner Vanessa Cuellas, counsel Jaime Rodriguez, senior associates Patricia Figueroa, Alvaro Sanchez-Bordona and Jose Antonio Segovia, associates Gadea Mato, Jose Mollinedo, Enrique Diaz-Mauriño, Marta Villar, Paloma Asegurado, Iñigo Olabarri, Jaime Llorens, Lina Kondrushkina, Laura Gomez, Beatriz Fernandez-Miranda, Oscar Guinea, Alberto Vega, Anabel Blasco and Juan Jose Sanchez and student Andrea Salgado.

The London team included corporate partner Dominic Morris, tax partner Lydia Challen, counsel Eleanor Milne and senior associates Michael Fletcher and Tom Lindley

The transaction is expected to be complete by 31 March 2022.