Asia Deal Digest: November 7, 2013

, The Asian Lawyer

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Australia/New Zealand

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Russell McVeagh; and Allens advised Meridian Energy Ltd. on its $1.6 billion initial public offering, the largest ever in New Zealand. The New Zealand government listed a 49 percent stake in Meridian, the country’s largest power generator and retailer, as part of a $4.1 billion privatization plan aimed at closing a budget deficit through June 2015. Sydney partner Mark Leemen led a Skadden team advising Meridian on U.S. and international law that also included Los Angeles partner Michael Beinus, Hong Kong partner Christopher Betts, London partner Danny Tricot, Tokyo partner Hiro Kamiya, Sydney partner Adrian Deitz and Paris partner Pascal Bine. Russell McVeagh Auckland partner Pip Greenwood acted as New Zealand counsel to Meridian. Allens advised the issuer on Australian law. Buddle Findlay Auckland partner Sacha Judd advised underwriters Deutsche Craigs Limited, Goldman Sachs and Macquarie Capital. Bell Gully represented the New Zealand government in the deal. [Read full story]

Sidley Austin and Gilbert + Tobin are advising Australian media company Nine Entertainment on an initial public offering that could raise as much as $658 million. The cash raised will go toward paying down existing debt and boosting the company’s capital position. Gilbert + Tobin Sydney partners Peter Cook and Rachael Bassil are leading the team advising Nine Entertainment on Australian law, with support from Sydney partner Rachel Launders. Sidley Austin, which is acting as international counsel, declined to comment on the partners acting on the IPO. King & Wood Mallesons Sydney partners David Friedlander and Shannon Finch are representing joint lead managers UBS AG, Macquarie Capital (Australia) Ltd., Morgan Stanley Australia Securities Ltd. and CBA Equities Ltd, with Sullivan & Cromwell Sydney-based special counsel Waldo Jones acting on U.S. law matters. [Read full story]

King & Wood Mallesons Sydney partner David Friedlander has advised private equity firm Warburg Pincus on the sale of its 33.9 percent stake in Brisbane-based waste management firm Transpacific Industries Group Ltd. for an estimated $380 million. The shares were sold by way of institutional placement underwritten by UBS AG. UBS handled the transaction in-house.

Australian financial services company AMP Ltd. was advised by King & Wood Mallesons on a subordinated notes issue, which is expected to raise $189 million. Partners Ian Paterson in Melbourne and Evie Bruce in Sydney led the King & Wood Mallesons team advising AMP. Herbert Smith Freehills Sydney partner Philippa Stone acted for structuring adviser UBS AG, Australia Branch, and three joint lead managers: Commonwealth Bank of Australia; J.P. Morgan Australia Ltd.; and UBS AG, Australia Branch.

Ashurst and Chapman Tripp had lead roles in a $50 million bond offering by Australian commercial printer PMP Ltd. Sydney partner Paul Jenkins led the team of Ashurst lawyers advising the issuer on Australian legal matters, with support from Sydney partner Bill Koeck and Melbourne partner Geoffrey Mann. Chapman Tripp Auckland partner Ross Pennington advised the issuer on New Zealand law. King & Wood Mallesons acted for manager and initial subscriber FIIG Securities Ltd.
 

China/Hong Kong

Baker & McKenzie is advising Guangzhou-based Yue Xiu Group on its proposed $1.5 billion purchase of a majority stake in Hong Kong’s Chong Hing Bank Ltd. The municipality-owned Yue Xiu, which operates in the real estate, infrastructure and transportation, and finance and securities sectors, is acquiring a 75 percent stake in family-owned Chong Hing through a Hong Kong subsidiary. Hong Kong partner Dorothea Koo led Baker & McKenzie’s team on the deal, which included six other partners from the firm’s finance, regulatory, insurance, property and intellectual property practices. Slaughter and May Hong Kong partners David Watkins and Lisa Chung are acting for Chong Hing Bank. Sullivan & Cromwell Hong Kong partners Kay Ian Ng and William Chua and Beijing partner Gwen Wong are representing Yue Xiu’s financial adviser, Nomura International (Hong Kong) Ltd. [Read full story]

Latham & Watkins and King & Wood Mallesons are advising China’s Huishang Bank Corp. on its proposed $1.2 billion initial public offering in Hong Kong. Huishang, which operates in Anhui and Jiangsu provinces, is raising the money in order to strengthen its capital base. Hong Kong partners Eugene Lee and Cathy Yeung are leading the Latham team advising Huishang on Hong Kong and U.S. law, with King & Wood Mallesons acting as Chinese counsel. Clifford Chance Hong Kong partner Cherry Chan advised underwriters CITIC Securities International, UBS AG, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and BOC International. The banks were advised by Grandall Law Firm on Chinese law. [Read full story]

Sidley Austin has advised Anton Oilfield Services Group, a Beijing-based onshore oil drilling and production services provider, on a $250 million senior notes offering. Proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes. Maples and Calder Hong Kong partner Jenny Nip served as the issuer’s Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands legal counsel. Shearman & Sterling Hong Kong partner Kyungwon Lee represented underwriters Citigroup Global Markets Ltd.; Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc; The Royal Bank of Scotland plc; and Guotai Junan Securities (Hong Kong) Ltd.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer had the lead role in a $247 million share placement for Chinese electronics trading company Tonic Industries Holdings Ltd. Hong Kong partners Teresa Ko and Ken Martin led the Freshfields team advising the issuer. Maples and Calder Hong Kong partner Christine Chang served as Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands counsel. Paul Hastings acted for placing agents Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC; China Merchants Securities (HK) Co. Ltd.; and Citigroup Global Market Inc.

Kirkland & Ellis advised Chinese logistics center developer Hydoo International Holdings Ltd. on its $242 million initial public offering. Hong Kong partners Dominic Tsun, David Zhang, Li-Chien Wong, Benjamin Su, Stephanie Lau and Angela Russo were part of the Kirkland team advising the issuer on U.S. and Hong Kong law. Maples and Calder Hong Kong partner Jenny Nip advised Hydoo on Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands law, while Global Law Offices acted as Chinese counsel. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett Hong Kong partner Celia Lam acted for the underwriter UBS AG, Hong Kong Branch; Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd.; ABCI Securities Co. Ltd.; CIMB Securities Ltd.; China Merchants Securities (HK) Co. Ltd.; ICBC International Securities Ltd.; and BOCOM International Securities Ltd., with Jun He Law Offices advising on Chinese law.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom Hong Kong partner Julie Gao acted for NQ Mobile, a mobile security software company coheadquartered in Beijing and Dallas, on a $172.5 million senior notes issue. The NYSE–listed company plans to use the capital raised for general corporate purposes and potential acquisitions. Maples and Calder Hong Kong partner Greg Knowles acted as Cayman Islands counsel for the issuer. Davis Polk & Wardell advised joint lead managers Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley.

Herbert Smith Freehills Hong Kong partner Jason Sung is acting for Shunfeng Photovoltaic International Ltd., a Chinese solar cell manufacturer, on a $144 million share placement. Proceeds raised will be used for general working capital and to construct solar power stations in China. The new shares will be jointly placed by Partners Capital International Ltd. (Hong Kong) and BOCOM International Securities Ltd. (Hong Kong). Counsel for the placing agents could not be identified by press time.

Norton Rose Fulbright is advising Beijing-based HanHong Private Equity on its proposed $75 million acquisition of Tethys Petroleum Group’s oil and gas assets in Kazakhstan. Listed in both London and Canada, Tethys Petroleum Group is an oil and gas exploration company that primarily operates in Central Asia. Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval. Singapore partner Alex Cull is leading the Norton Rose Fulbright team with support from Almaty partner Tatiana Muratova. Ashurst Singapore partner Keith McGuire and London partner Geoffrey Picton-Turbervill advised Tethys, along with general counsel Ian Philliskirk.


Southeast Asia

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Clifford Chance had the lead roles on UMW Oil & Gas Corp. Bhd.’s $740 million initial public offering, the largest so far in Malaysia this year. The company, a division of Malaysian state-owned conglomerate UMW Holdings Bhd., provides offshore drilling and onshore pipeline services to clients in Southeast Asia, China and Turkmenistan. Cleary Hong Kong partner Sung Kang was the lead partner advising UMW Oil & Gas, while Malaysian firm Albar and Partners acted as local counsel. Clifford Chance acted for underwriters Maybank Investment Bank Bhd., CIMB Investment Bank Bhd., Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered Bank. The firm’s team was led by Hong Kong partner Raymond Tong and partner Johannes Juette in Singapore. Zul Rafique and Partners advised the banks on Malaysian law. [Read full story]


Japan

Baker & McKenzie is advising Taiwan’s CTBC Financial Holding Co. Ltd. on its $527 million purchase of a majority stake in Tokyo Star Bank. CTBC will acquire 98.16 percent of the Japanese bank from Shining Star Godo Kaisha and Allied Holdings Godo Kaisha, the bank’s Japanese shareholders. The deal is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval. No date was given for when that was expected. Baker & McKenzie Taipei partner Joseph Fu led the firm’s advisory team, with support from Tokyo partner Norihiro Sekiguchi. Japanese firm Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, led by partner Seiichi Okazaki, is acting for Tokyo Star shareholders Shining Star and Allied Holdings. [Read full story]

White & Case has advised Osaka Gas Chemicals Co. Ltd. on its $400 million acquisition of Jacobi Carbons AB, the world’s largest maker of coconut shell–activated carbon, in a deal expected to close in January 2014. Tokyo partner Brian Strawn and Stockholm partner Ulf Johansson led White & Case's team on the deal. Seller AddSorb Holding AB was advised by Ashurst Stockholm partner Pontus Bergsten.


Singapore

Stamford Law Corp. has advised Dubai-based commodities trading firm Ammalay Commodities JLT on its proposed $459 million reverse merger with Singapore-listed GEMS TV. The target, formerly a home shopping channel focusing on jewelry, will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary under the acquirer, a subsidiary of Indian rice producer REI Agro Ltd., when the acquisition is complete. Directors Yap Lian Seng and Elizabeth Kong led the Stamford team on the deal. Singapore firm Quahe Woo & Palmer acted for GEMS TV.

Allen & Gledhill and Stamford Law Corp. have the lead roles in Hong Kong–based Headland Capital Partners’ proposed $358 million acquisition of Singapore’s Kreuz Holdings Ltd., which constructs and repairs offshore oil and gas pipelines. Allen & Gledhill partner Song Su-Min is advising Headland, with Walkers Hong Kong partner Arwel Lewis acting as Cayman Islands counsel. Stamford Law Corp. directors Bernard Lui and Lim Swee Yong are acting for Kreuz.

Allen & Gledhill has advised Keppel Land Ltd., the property arm of Singapore’s conglomerate Keppel Group, on a $338 million term loan facility to its subsidiary Sherwood Development Pte. Ltd. The borrower, a joint venture between Keppel Land and Chinese property developer Vanke, will use the proceeds for the construction of a residential project in Singapore. Allen & Gledhill partner Lyn Wee advised both Keppel Land and Vanke.

Shook Lin & Bok has advised luxury residential development Skies Miltonia on a $160 million senior notes issue. The notes were issued via special purpose vehicle Orchis Capital Pte. Ltd. Allen & Gledhill acted for sole manager DBS Bank Ltd., with a team of lawyers composed of partners Magdalene Leong, Margaret Chin and Andrew Chan. WongPartnership advised trustee The Bank of New York Mellon, Singapore Branch, with a team led by partners Hui Choon Yuen, Khoo Yuh Huey and Carol Anne Tan.


India

Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co. Delhi partner Akila Agrawal advised Indian pharmaceutical company Fresenius Kabi Oncology Ltd. on its delisting from the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India. Acquirer Fresenius Singapore purchased all the publicly traded shares in the company for $65 million.

Email: qleung@alm.com.

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