World’s Largest Copper Producer in $6.75 Billion Financing
October 12, 2011
Cleary Gottlieb represented long-standing client Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (“Codelco”), a Chilean state-owned company that is the world’s largest copper producer, in the arrangement of $6.75 billion in financing from Mitsui & Co. (“Mitsui”), a Japanese trading company. The purpose of the financing is to ensure that Codelco has the necessary financing available to exercise its option (if it elects to do so) to acquire up to 49% of the shareholding of Anglo American Sur S.A. (“Sur”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anglo American plc (“Anglo”). The parties entered into definitive documentation in a signing ceremony in Santiago, Chile on October 12, 2011.
Under the terms of the financing, Mitsui (or a subsidiary of Mitsui) will lend up to $6.75 billion to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Codelco to finance Codelco’s exercise of its option over Sur’s equity. The parties have also entered into an agreement which grants the borrower the right to settle part of the bridge loan with an indirect 50% interest in the Sur equity acquired by Codelco, based on a pre-determined value for the 49% interest in Sur of approximately $9.76 billion.
Codelco holds the right, exercisable every three years (with the next window opening in January 2012) to purchase up to 49% of the equity of Sur. Sur owns and operates certain properties in Chile, including the Los Bronces and El Soldado copper mines, the Chagres smelter and the Los Sulfatos and San Enrique Monolito prospects.
In addition to the financing transaction and as part of a broader relationship between Codelco and Mitsui, the two parties entered into sales contracts for the sale by Codelco to Mitsui of 30,000 tons of refined copper per year at market prices.