Asia Deal Digest: November 21, 2013
Morrison & Foerster has advised warehouse operator Global Logistic Properties Ltd on the raising of a $3 billion fund to build facilities in China. Singapore-listed GLP established the fund with six institutional investors, including state and pension funds. It will build warehouses in China over the next three years, taking advantage of the rising demand for storage space fueled by the country’s booming e-commerce and retail market. To support the fund, the company has also secured a $1 billion credit facility with China Merchants Bank. Singapore partner Eric Piesner, Hong Kong partner Marcia Ellis and San Francisco partner Kenneth Muller led the Morrison & Foerster team advising GLP. WongPartnership asset management partner Low Kah Keong advised GLP on Singapore law. [Read full story]
Clifford Chance and Linklaters have the lead roles on Singaporean oil and gas company Pavilion Energy Pte. Ltd.’s proposed $1.3 billion acquisition of a minority stake in three offshore natural gas blocks in Tanzania from London-based Ophir Energy Plc. Pavilion, which is wholly owned by Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd., is buying a 20 percent interest in Blocks 1, 3, and 4 in order to expand its sourcing for liquefied natural gas, according to a company statement. Ophir currently holds a 40 percent interest in those blocks. The deal, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014. Clifford Chance Hong Kong partner Ashvin Seetulsingh and Tokyo partner Andrew Whan are acting for Pavilion on the deal. Linklaters London partners Manzer Ijaz and Nick Rumsby are representing Ophir. [Read full story]
Allen & Gledhill partner Glen Foo has represented Singapore’s United Overseas Bank Ltd. on its recent bond sale worth $401.6 million. The newly raised cash will be used for general corporate purposes. Allen & Gledhill also acted for joint lead managers UOB, Credit Suisse (Singapore) Ltd., Nomura Singapore Ltd., Standard Chartered Bank and UBS AG, led by partners Christopher Koh and Sharon Wee. WongPartnership partner Hui Choon Yuen advised The Bank of New York Mellon as trustee of the issuance.
Shearman & Sterling is acting for IntercontinentalExchange Group Inc. on its reported $150 million purchase of the Singapore Mercantile Exchange from Financial Technologies (India) Ltd. IntercontinentalExchange operates a network of exchanges and clearinghouses for the financial and commodity markets, including the New York Stock Exchange and Amsterdam-based Euronext. It is purchasing Singapore Mercantile Exchange, which operates futures markets in the city-state, in an all-cash deal that is expected to close by the end of the year. Shearman’s team is being led by New York partners David Connelly, John Cannon, Stephen Fishbein, Geoffrey Goldman and Christopher LaVigne, London partners Barney Reynolds, Thomas Donegan, Iain Scoon and Simon Letherman, and Singapore partner Shirin Tang. Luthra & Luthra is serving as Indian counsel to the buyer. Rajah & Tann Singapore partners David Yeow, Tan Chon Beng and John Cordova are acting for Financial Technologies. J. Sagar Associates and Wiggin and Dana are representing the seller on Indian and U.S. law, respectively.
Davis Polk & Wardwell has advised state-run China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp., better known as COFCO, on a $1 billion bond offering. COFCO is China's largest food processing, manufacturing and trading company. Hong Kong partners Eugene Gregor, Paul Chow and Antony Dapiran, along with London partner Jonathan Cooklin, led the team at Davis Polk advising COFCO on Hong Kong and U.K. law. Harney Westwood & Riegels served as COFCO’s British Virgin Islands counsel. Linklaters acted for underwriters The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd., J.P.Morgan Securities Plc., UBS AG, BOCI Asia Ltd., Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) Ltd., Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank AG and CITIC Securities Corporate Finance (HK) Ltd. Beijing-based Tian Yuan Law Firm represented the banks on Chinese law matters. [Read full story]
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom acted for Chinese Internet company Sina Corp. on a $700 million of convertible notes. Sina plans to use $100 million to repurchase its own shares, which trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange, and the rest for general corporate purposes. Hong Kong partners Julie Gao, Los Angeles partner Michael Gisser and New York partner Yossi Vebman led the advisory team acting for Sina on the deal. Shearman & Sterling Palo Alto partner Alan Seem acted for underwriters China Renaissance and J.P. Morgan. Haiwen & Partners served as Chinese counsel to the banks.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett acted for Chinese online and mobile gaming company Boyaa Interactive International Ltd. on its $127.3 million Hong Kong initial public offering. The company develops and operates card and board games—such as poker and mah-jongg—in the China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand markets. The money raised will be used to expand Boyaa’s marketing initiatives and game portfolio, and for acquisitions and general corporate purposes. Hong Kong partners Celia Lam and Leiming Chen were the lead partners for Simpson Thacher. Kirkland & Ellis Hong Kong partners Dominic Tsun, David Zhang, Li-Chien Wong, Benjamin Su and Stephanie Lau advised Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) Ltd. and China Renaissance Securities (Hong Kong) Ltd. as joint lead managers.
Gadens is representing Australian Securities Exchange–listed copper producer PanAust Ltd. on its $125 million purchase of an 80 percent stake in the Frieda River Copper-Gold Project in Papua New Guinea, which was held by Glencore Xstrata Plc. Glencore will pay an initial $75 million in two installments, and then another $50 million to PanAust as a smelter return royalty upon successful completion of a development at Frieda River. The deal is subject to regulatory approval, but no timeline was given for when that was expected. Sydney partner Kym Livesley is acting for PanAust. Allens is serving as counsel to Glencore. At the same time, Livesly is advising PanAust on its $4.7 million purchase of a 7.5 percent stake in Highlands Pacific Ltd., which holds the remaining 20 percent of the Frieda River project. Ashurst is representing Highland on the deal.
Clayton Utz is advising contract labor services company Skilled Group Ltd. on its proposed $31.5 million acquisition of the majority of the business and brands of construction and engineering services firm Thomas & Coffey Ltd. Skilled Group provides workers to the mining, heavy industry and utilities industries, among others. Thomas & Coffey offers installation, maintenance, project management and related services to those same industries. Skilled Group is acquiring the business and brands by purchasing Thomas & Coffey subsidiary T&C Services Pty. Ltd. The deal is expected to be completed in January. Melbourne partner Andrew Walker is acting for Skilled Group. Sydney firm Watson Mangioni is representing Thomas & Coffey.
Amarchand Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff and Co. and Jones Day had the lead roles on Procter & Gamble India Holdings B.V. and Calcutta-based Poddar Heritage Group’s $91 million sale of shares in Gillette India Ltd. The sale brings down P&G’s stake from 75.9 percent to 75 percent, which is in line with the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s requirement that a promoter hold no more than three-quarters of the shares in a listed company. Poddar reduced its stake to 4.99 percent from 12.86 percent. Amarchand partners Shardul Shroff and Prashant Gupta advised Poddar Heritage. Jones Day Singapore partner Manoj Bhargava advised P&G on U.S. law, while J. Sagar & Associates acted as Indian counsel to the company. O'Melveny & Myers Singapore partner Andrew Hutton represented brokers Bank of America Merrill Lynch and ICICI Securities, with Indian firm Luthra & Luthra advising the banks on Indian law.
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and Amarchand Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff and Co. have advised Indian movie producer and distributor Eros International Plc. on its $55 million initial public offering and listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The Bollywood studio said it will use the proceeds to fund new coproductions and acquisitions of Hindi and regional film content, as well as growing its digital distribution channels. Gibson Dunn Century City partner Ruth Fisher and Los Angeles partners Peter Wardle and Candice Choh advised Eros on U.S. law. Amarchand partners Shardul Shroff and Prashant Gupta acted as Indian counsel. Cains Advocates Ltd. served as Isle of Man counsel. O'Melveny & Myers Century City partner Steve Grossman and Hong Kong partner David Johnson acted as U.S. counsel for underwriters Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Merrill Lynch, Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc., UBS Securities, Jefferies and Credit Suisse Securities (USA). S&R Associates advised the banks on Indian law, with Simcocks Advocates Ltd. acting as Isle of Man counsel.
Norton Rose Singapore associates Craig Loveless and Xi Xuan Cai have advised Italian insurer Generali Group on a $54 million buyout of an insurance joint venture with Malaysia’s Kuok Group. The joint venture, Generali Asia, was first formed in 1999 and served as a holding company that controlled Generali’s insurance operations in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. Baker & McKenzie’s Malaysian member firm, Wong & Partners, acted for JAB Capital Bhd., the Kuok Group’s insurance holding company. Kuala Lumpur partner Andre Gan led the Wong & Partners team.