Asia Deal Digest: October 17, 2013

, The Asian Lawyer

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Japan

K&L Gates has advised Japan Airlines on a purchase of aircraft from Airbus SAS, worth as much as $9.5 billion. JAL has agreed to acquire 31 of Airbus’s upcoming A350 passenger jet, with the option to purchase a further 25 in the future. The list price for the ordered aircraft is $9.5 billion though manufacturers typically give substantial discounts to large customers. Keiji Isaji, Atsushi Yamashita, and Robert Melson were the lead Tokyo partners advising JAL, supported by London partner Trevor Beadle. Airbus, as on many of its aircraft sales, used in-house counsel for its negotiations with JAL. [Read full story]

Morrison & Foerster is advising Japanese Internet and telecommunications group SoftBank Corp. on its proposed $1.5 billion acquisition of Finnish online gaming company Supercell. GungHo Online, which SoftBank partly owns, will invest $300 million and SoftBank will put up the remaining $1.2 billion in a deal expected to close no later than early November. Tokyo partners Kenneth Siegel, Randy Laxer and Gary Smith are leading the Morrison & Foerster team advising SoftBank and GungHo on the matter. Fenwick & West is acting as Supercell's lead counsel on the transaction, with a team led by Silicon Valley partners Mark Stevens, R. Gregory Roussel, David Michaels, Scott Spector and David Forst, as well as San Francisco partner Stephen Gillespie. White & Case Helsinki partner Janko Lindros is acting as Finnish counsel to Supercell. [Read full story]


China/Hong Kong

DLA Piper is advising Shanghai-based developer Greenland Holding Group Co. on its $5 billion acquisition of a majority stake in Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards project, the largest U.S. real estate investment by a Chinese company to date. Chinese state-owned Greenland is acquiring a 70 percent stake in a joint venture with New York area developer Forest City Ratner Cos. to build a 15-tower mixed-use project that includes offices, retail and residential space. Shanghai partner Kit Kwok and New York partner Martin Polevoy are leading the DLA Piper team advising Greenland. Goodwin Procter Boston partners Michael Glazer, Diane McCabe, and Mark Kirshenbaum are acting for Forest City Ratner. [Read full story]

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Davis Polk & Wardwell have the lead roles on an $800 million convertible bond issue by Chinese online travel site Ctrip.com International Ltd. Proceeds from the issue will be used to increase working capital and for other general corporate purposes. Skadden Hong Kong partner Z. Julie Gao, New York partner Yossi Vebman and Sydney partner Adrian Deitz led the team advising Ctrip. Davis Polk Hong Kong partner James Lin led a team advising underwriter JPMorgan Chase & Co. [Read full story]

Baker & McKenzie acted for Fortune Real Estate Investment Trust, which owns 17 retail malls in Hong Kong, on its $753 million acquisition of Kingswood Ginza Property from Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd. Fortune’s acquisition of Kingswood, which holds property in Hong Kong’s New Territories, was financed by $645 million in term loans. Hong Kong partner Milton Cheng led the Baker & McKenzie team on the deal, which also included Hong Kong partners Christina Lee and Simon Leung. Allen & Overy Hong Kong partner Vicki Liu acted for lenders Standard Chartered Bank and DBS. Dual-listed in Hong Kong and Singapore, Fortune was also advised on Singapore law by Allen & Gledhill partners Jerry Koh, Foong Yuen Ping and Teh Hoe Yue. Mayer Brown JSM and Rodyk & Davidson respectively served as Hong Kong and Singapore counsel to trustee HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Singapore) Ltd.

Davis Polk & Wardwell and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have the lead roles in a $748 million tie-up between Chinese supermarket operator Wumart Stores Inc. and C.P. Lotus Corp., a similar chain partly owned by Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group. As part of the deal, CP Lotus will take a 14 percent stakes in Beijing-based Wumart for $374 million, while Wumart will take a 10 percent stakes in CP Lotus for $71 million. Wumart will also pay $302 million for 36 CP Lotus stores to expand its foothold in Northern China. Davis Polk Hong Kong partner Paul Chow is advising Wumart on the deal, while CP Lotus is being represented by Freshfields Hong Kong partner Edward Freeman. Morrison & Foerster Hong Kong partners Jeremy Hunt and Marcia Ellis are advising Ascendent Capital, a China-focused U.S. private equity firm which helped orchestrate the deal and is investing $30 million in Wumart. [Read full story]

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom has advised casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd. on a $600 million senior notes issue. According to the prospectus, proceeds from the issue will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes. Hong Kong partners Alan Schiffman and Alec Tracy led the Skadden team on the deal, while Maples and Calder Hong Kong partner Barry Mitchell acted as the issuer's Cayman Islands counsel. Latham & Watkins Beijing partner Allen Wang advised underwriters J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Deutsche Bank AG, Singapore Branch.

Norton Rose Fulbright Hong Kong partners Psyche Tai and Andrew Bleau represented The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd. as manager of Chinese beverage manufacturer Uni-President China Holdings Ltd.’s sale of $65.5 million of shares in Shanghai-based snack maker Want Want China Holdings. Uni-President and Want Want both handled the transaction in-house.

Paul Hastings acted for Haitong International Securities Group Ltd., a subsidiary of China’s second-largest securities firm, on an issue of $30 million in convertible bonds. Hong Kong partners Raymond Li, Vivian Lam and Catherine Tsang led the Paul Hasting’s team on the deal. Clifford Chance Shanghai partner Jean Thio and Hong Kong partner Connie Heng advised The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd. as underwriter.


Korea

Paul Hastings has advised Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. on its $1.5 billion sale of shares in Seagate Technology Plc. back to the U.S. hard drive company. Samsung acquired the shares in 2011, when it sold its hard drive business to Seagate in 2011 for $1.38 billion in a half-cash, half-stock deal. The redemption is part of a larger share buyback plan at Seagate. Seoul partners Daniel Sae-Chin Kim and Dong Chul Kim, along with Palo Alto partner Jeff Hartlin and London partner Garrett Hayes, led the Paul Hastings team on the deal. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati acted for Seagate. [Read full story]


Australia

Gilbert + Tobin is advising Australia’s Westpac Banking Corp. on its $1.37 billion acquisition of Lloyds Banking Group’s Australian assets. Westpac, one of Australia’s biggest banks, is buying Lloyds’s $1.5 billion corporate loan portfolio, as well as its motor vehicle and equipment finance business, which has some $6.4 billion in outstanding loans. The acquisition is expected to complete by the end of the year. Sydney partners Peter Cook and Gina Cass-Gottlieb are leading a 13-lawyer team at Gilbert + Tobin that also includes partners David Clee, Elizabeth Avery, Ros O'Mally, Duncan McGrath and Peter Feros. Allen & Overy Sydney partner Michael Parshall is advising Lloyds along with a Minter Ellison team led by Sydney partner Victoria Mathewson and also including partners Matthew Cunningham, John Elias, Daniel Scotti, Anthony Borgese, Gareth Jolly, and Katrina Groshinski. [Read full story]


Clayton Utz Sydney partners Jonathan Algar and Stuart Byrne advised Australian online foreign exchange service provider OzForex Group on a $416 million initial public offering on the Australian Securities Exchange. Kirkland & Ellis acted as U.S. counsel to the issuer. Herbert Smith Freehills Sydney partner Philippa Stone advised underwriters Goldman Sachs Australia Pty Ltd. and Macquarie Capital (Australia) Ltd.

 
Singapore
 
Allen & Gledhill has advised Singapore’s Housing and Development Board on a $1.17 billion issue of fixed-rate notes, its second in a $17.5 billion multicurrency medium-term note program. The issue of first four tranches of notes totaling $2.6 billion was completed in September. Partners Margaret Chin and Sunit Chhabra led the Allen & Gledhill team on the deal. Counsel for lead managers ANZ, BNP Paribas, CIMB, Deutsche Bank, DBS, HSBC, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp., Standard Chartered Bank, United Overseas Bank and DMG & Partners Securities could not be ascertained by press time.

WongPartnership advised Singaporean for-profit education provider Raffles Education Corp. Ltd. on its $65 million acquisition of a 10 percent interest in Oriental University City Ltd. from Malaysian sovereign investment fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd. Oriental University City is a 1.3 million-square-meter complex located in Hebei, China, that is home to eight private universities. Partners Annabelle Yip and Lim Hon Yi led the WongPartnership team on the deal. Simmons & Simmons Beijing Partner Yongmei Cai represented the seller Rawa Investments (Cayman Islands) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional.


Southeast Asia

Jones Day has advised a group of Indonesian businessman on their purchase of a majority stake in Italian soccer club F.C. Internazionale Milano S.p.A, also known as Inter Milan, for as much as $406 million. Inter Milan has signed a binding agreement with a company controlled by Erick Thohir, Rosan Roeslani, and Handy Soetedjo to acquire a 70 percent stake in the club by way of a dedicated capital increase. The terms of deal have not been disclosed but Italian media have estimated the sale price at between $338 million and $406 million. Partner Marco Lombardi led a Jones Day team in Milan, while Maria Pedersen was the lead partner in Hong Kong. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton Milan partner Roberto Casati acted for Inter Milan and majority shareholder Internazionale Holding S.r.l., which is controlled by Moratti. [Read full story]

Baker & McKenzie has advised Amata B.Grimm Power Infrastructure Fund on a $201 million initial public offering on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Backed by Japan’s Sumitomo Corp., Amata B.Grimm plans to use the proceeds to construct 16 power plants in Thailand. Bangkok partners Sorachon Boonsong, Viroj Piyawattanametha  and Theppachol Kosol led the Baker & McKenzie team advising the issuer. Thai bank Kasikornbank, which served as underwriter, was advised by local firm Weerawong, Chinnavat & Peangpanor.

Email: qleung@alm.com.

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