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White & Case Advises Lenders on US$646 million Acquisition of Western Desert Upstream Oil and Gas Assets in Egypt by Cheiron Oil & Gas and Cairn Energy PLC

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised a syndicate of lenders led by Societe Generale, London Branch to subsidiaries of Cheiron Petroleum Corporation and Cairn Energy PLC on a reserve-based lending facility of US$325 million for the acquisition of upstream oil and gas assets located in the Western Desert in Egypt from Shell Egypt N.V. and Shell Austria GmbH for a base consideration of US$646 million and an additional contingent consideration of up to a maximum of US$280 million. 

"Our role on this important transaction is further evidence of White & Case's expertise and capabilities advising on significant financings across Africa." said White & Case partner and head of the Firm's Africa Interest Group, Mukund Dhar

Cheiron Petroleum Corporation is a leading Egyptian independent exploration and production oil and gas company focused on the development of mature oil and gas fields with upside potential. Cairn Energy PLC is one of Europe's leading independent energy companies. 

The portfolio of target assets includes over 20 producing fields and associated infrastructure and three exploration concessions. Field activities will continue to be managed by Bapetco, a joint venture company owned by Cheiron, Cairn and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation. 

The syndicate of banks was led by Societe Generale, London Branch, as initial mandated lead arranger and co-ordinating bank. The loan proceeds will be primarily applied to the financing of acquisition costs for the Shell assets. 

The White & Case team which advised on the transaction included partners Mukund Dhar, Jason Kerr, Ingrid York (all London) and Gareth Hodder (Johannesburg), association partner Ziad Gadalla (Cairo), counsel Johanna Hayward, Paul Harrington (both London) and Fern Han (Houston) and associates Zsofia Cassidy, Radhika Wason, Eduardo Barrachina (all London) and Nour Ghaleb (Dubai).

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