Fortress Value Acquisition Corp’s Acquisition of MP Materials

Sidley Austin LLP represented MP Materials, while Weil, Gotshal & Manges represented Fortress Value Acquisition Corp in the deal. Simpson Thacher represented Secure Natural Resources in the transaction.

MP Materials closed its merger with Fortress Value Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC in an all-stock transaction valued at over $1.0 billion.

Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will be named MP Materials Corp. and will remain NYSE-listed under the new ticker symbol “MP”.

Following completion of the transaction, MP Materials will retain its experienced management team. Co-Chairman James Litinsky will become Chairman and CEO, current CEO Michael Rosenthal will become COO, Ryan Corbett will continue to serve as CFO, and Sheila Bangalore will continue to serve as Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel.

As a part of the transaction, Fortress also acquired Secure Natural Resources LLC, the owner of certain mineral rights at Mountain Pass, the only rare earth mining and processing site of scale in North America.

MP Materials is the owner and operator of the Mountain Pass Rare Earth Mining and Processing facility, the only integrated site of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. With over 200 employees, MP Materials produces approximately 15% of global rare earth materials, essential for the development of technologies such as defense systems, smartphones, drones, and electric vehicles. It operates a green mining and processing facility and is currently one of the lowest-cost producers of rare earth concentrate. MP plays a leadership role in advocating for a more robust and competitive rare earths industry in the U.S.

Fortress Value Acquisition Corp. is a special purpose acquisition company formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses.

The Sidley team included Jeffrey Smith (Picture), Ayaz Shaikh, Dan O’Shea, Dirk Andringa and Michael Heinz.

The Weil team advising Fortress was led by Mergers & Acquisitions partner Jackie Cohen and includes Mergers & Acquisitions associates Kevin Kitson, Joseph Godio and Alex Walsh. The team also included Tax partner Mark Schwed; Executive Compensation & Benefits head Paul Wessel; Capital Markets head Alexander Lynch; Public Company Advisory Group partner Adé Heyliger; Technology & IP Transactions partner Karen Ballack; International Arbitration & Trade partner Ted Posner; Environmental head Annemargaret Connolly; Capital Markets counsel Peter Byrne; Real Estate attorney Leslie Smith; Environmental counsel John O’Loughlin; Antitrust counsel Alexis Brown-Reilly; Tax associate Michael Rivkin; Executive Compensation & Benefits associates Amanda Rosenblum and Radhika Tahiliani; Public Company Advisory Group associate Kaitlin Descovich (Admitted in New York Only); Technology & IP Transactions associates Jillian Richardson and Alexa Clinton (Admitted in California Only); and Cybersecurity, Data Privacy & Information associate Robert Brown.

Simpson Thacher represented Secure Natural Resources with a team including Greg Klein, Mike Kaplan, Eric Swedenburg, Daniel Switts and Claire Hutar (M&A); Dan Webb and Adam Spaulding (Capital Markets); Drew Purcell (Tax); and David Rubinsky and Ashlie Lawton (ECEB).

Involved fees earner: Daniel O’Shea – O’Melveny & Myers LLP; Dirk Andringa – Sidley Austin LLP; Michael Heinz – Sidley Austin LLP; Ayaz Shaikh – Sidley Austin LLP; Jeffrey Smith – Sidley Austin LLP; Claire Hutar – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Michael Kaplan – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Gregory Klein – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Ashlie Lawton – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Andrew Purcell – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; David Rubinsky – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Adam Spaulding – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Eric Swedenburg – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Daniel Switts – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Daniel Webb – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Karen Ballack – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Robert Brown – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Alexis Brown-Reilly – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Peter Byrne – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Alexa Clinton – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Jackie Cohen – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Annemargaret Connolly – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Kaitlin Descovich – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Joseph Godio – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Adé Heyliger – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Kevin Kitson – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Alexander Lynch – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; John O’Loughlin – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Ted Posner – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Jillian Richardson – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Michael Rivkin – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Amanda Rosenblum – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Mark Schwed – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Leslie Smith – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Radhika Tahiliani – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Alex Walsh – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Paul Wessel – Weil, Gotshal & Manges;

Law Firms: O’Melveny & Myers LLP; Sidley Austin LLP; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Weil, Gotshal & Manges;

Clients: Fortress Value Acquisition Corp; MP Materials ; Secure Natural Resources;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti