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Freshfields wins Restructuring Deal of the Year 2020 at the IFLR Middle East Awards

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (‘Freshfields’) has won the Restructuring Deal of the Year 2020 award at the IFLR Middle East Awards for its role in advising Alcoa Corporation (Alcoa), a global leader in bauxite, alumina, and aluminum products, on the restructuring of its joint venture with the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden), in which Alcoa holds a minority, 25.1 per cent stake.

The joint venture was created in 2009 as a fully integrated aluminum complex in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, comprised of three entities: the Ma’aden Bauxite and Alumina Company (MBAC; the bauxite mine and alumina refinery), the Ma’aden Aluminium Company (MAC; the aluminum smelter and cast house), and the Ma’aden Rolling Company (MRC; the can and auto sheet mill).

As a result of the restructuring:
• Alcoa transferred its 25.1 per cent interest in MRC to Ma’aden
• Alcoa made a contribution to MRC in the amount of $100m
• Alcoa was released from all future MRC obligations, including Alcoa’s sponsor support of approximately $295m of MRC debt and its share of any future MRC cash requirements
• Alcoa will avoid future capital contributions in any MRC debt restructuring and recapitalization
• Alcoa and Ma’aden further defined MBAC and MAC shareholder rights, including the dividend policy

The parties also agreed to maintain their commercial relationship, which includes Alcoa providing sales, logistics and customer technical services support for MRC products for the North American can sheet market.

Alcoa retains its 25.1 per cent minority interest in MBAC and MAC, and Ma’aden continues to own a 74.9 per cent interest. 

The multi-disciplinary Freshfields team advising on the transaction was led by Partners Gabriel Mpubani in London, Fares Al Hejailan in Riyadh and Haris Meyer Hanif in Dubai, with support from senior associates Sara Barin and Ibrahim Attar and associates Sam Naylor, Selina Pope, Sultan Al-Amri and Dickson Chan.

This award follows the Restructuring Team of the Year accolades won by the firm at the Legal Business Awards in March 2019 and at The British Legal Awards in November 2019.