A new two-step general approach to [2.2]metacyclophane synthesis from substituted m-xylenes is described. The strategy employs a selective benzylic metalation and oxidative C–C bond formation for both synthetic operations. Regioselective benzylic metalation is achieved using the BuLi, KOt-Bu, TMP(H) (2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine) combination (LiNK metalation conditions) and oxidative coupling with 1,2-dibromoethane. The synthetic ease of this approach compares favourably with previously reported methods and allows for ready access to potentially useful planar chiral derivatives
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