Asia Deal Digest: December 19, 2013

, The Asian Lawyer

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Australia

Minter Ellison is advising Insurance Australia Group Ltd. on a proposed $1.7 billion acquisition of Perth-based conglomerate Wesfarmers Ltd.’s insurance underwriting businesses. IAG is buying both the Australian and New Zealand underwriting divisions of Wesfarmers, which also operates in the retail, energy and industrial sectors. According to an IAG statement, Wesfarmers’ insurance underwriting businesses reported gross written premiums of over $1.4 billion in the financial year ending June 30. Minter Ellison partner James Philips is leading a Sydney-based team that includes partners Mark Standen and Christopher Brown acting for IAG. Herbert Smith Freehills is representing Wesfarmers on Australian law matters, while Russell McVeagh is serving as New Zealand counsel. [Read full story]

Allens acted for Melbourne-based lender Banksia Mortgages Fund on selling a $100 million portfolio of loans to Deutsche Bank AG’s Sydney Branch. Melbourne partner Clint Hinchen led the Allens team, which included fellow Melbourne partners Penny Nikoloudis and Mark Malinas. This is the second loan portfolio that Banksia has sold to Deutsche Bank, as the company sold $212 million worth of loans to the German investment bank last May. Counsel for Deutsche Bank was not available at press time.


China/Hong Kong

Gide Loyrette Nouel has advised French automaker Renault S.A. on a $1.3 billion joint venture with state-run Dongfeng Motor Corp. in China. After getting the go-ahead from China’s National Development and Reform Commission on Dec. 2, Renault can now take steps to manufacture and distribute its vehicles inside China rather than importing them from its other manufacturing bases in the region. Paris partner Stéphane Vernay and Beijing partner Thomas Urlacher led the team at Gide advising Renault. The in-house legal team at Renault was led by counsel Concepcion Pires-de-Paz. Dongfeng was represented by Beijing partner Guo Zhi at Chinese firm Commerce & Finance Law Offices. [Read full story]

Sidley Austin Hong Kong partner Huanting Timothy Li acted for state-run China State Shipbuilding Corp. on its $800 million bond issuance. King & Wood Mallesons served as Chinese counsel, while Maples and Calder Hong Kong partner Jenny Nip advised the issuer on British Virgin Islands law. Linklaters was adviser to joint lead managers CCB International Capital Ltd., Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd., Bank of China Ltd., Barclays Banks Plc., CITIC Securities Corporate Finance (HK) Ltd. and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (HK) Ltd. Global Law Offices was Chinese counsel to the banks. Clifford Chance acted for trustee Bank of Communications Ltd.

Shearman and Sterling Hong Kong partner Kyungwon Lee represented Internet service provider Pacnet Ltd. on its $350 million senior notes issuance. Pacnet, which is co-based in Hong Kong and Singapore, runs 24 data centers in Asia-Pacific and provides data connection services in the region. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom Hong Kong partners Alec Tracy and Clive Rough advised underwriters DBS Bank Ltd., Goldman Sachs (Asia) and Standard Chartered Bank.

Ashurst is advising on the $272 million proposed takeover of Frankfurt-listed KHD Humboldt Wedag International AG by a consortium of investors led by Chinese state-run Aviation Industry Corp. AVIC currently holds a 20 percent stake in KHD, which designs and builds industrial plants. Frankfurt partner Reinhard Eyring and Hong Kong partner Dominic Gregory are acting for AVIC. Mayer Brown JSM Hong Kong partner Francis Chen and Frankfurt partners Ulrike Binder and Dirk-Peter Flor are representing Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) Ltd., which will provide financing for the acquisition.

Sidley Austin led Times Property Holdings Ltd.’s $200 million initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The Guangzhou-based real estate developer, which specializes in high-end residential properties, plans to use the bulk of the proceeds to finance future land acquisitions and other projects. Sidley Hong Kong partners Constance Choy, Janney Chong and Jason Kuo acted for Times Property. Commerce & Finance Law Offices also advised Times Property on Chinese law, while Appleby Hong Kong partner Judy Lee acted as the Cayman Islands counsel. Hogan Lovells Hong Kong partners Terence Lau and Thomas Tarala advised underwriters UBS AG, Haitong International Securities Co. Ltd. and ABCI Capital Ltd. on Hong Kong and U.S. law. King & Wood Mallesons Guangzhou partners Lin Qingsong and Wang Jianxue served as Chinese counsel.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer led Jintian Pharmaceutical Group Ltd. on its $186 million initial public offering in Hong Kong. Jintian plans to use the majority of the proceeds to grow its business. Maples and Calder Hong Kong partner Greg Knowles advised the issuer on Cayman Islands law, with Commerce & Finance Law Offices advising on Chinese law. Clifford Chance acted for sole sponsor Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd., as well as underwriters Bank Of China (Hong Kong) Ltd. and Bank of Communications Co. Ltd. Jingtian & Gongcheng served as Chinese counsel to the banks.


India

Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff Co. has advised state-run Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd. on its $1.1 billion equity share offering. The government sold 4 percent of its 69 percent stake in Power Grid, India’s largest electricity company, and also issued 600 million new shares for the offering. Most of the proceeds—$850 million—went to Power Grid for new transmission projects and other general corporate purposes. New Delhi partner Prashant Gupta led the team at Amarchand advising Power Grid. DLA Piper Hong Kong partner Stephen Peepels and Singapore partner Biswajit Chatterjee acted as international counsel for underwriters Citigroup Global Markets India Pvt. Ltd., ICICI Securities Ltd., Kotak Mahindra Capital Co. Ltd., SBI Capital Markets Ltd. and UBS Securities India Pvt. Ltd. S&R Associates acted as Indian counsel to the banks. [Read full story]


Korea

Lee & Ko and Herbert Smith Freehills had the lead roles in Spanish Acciona’s $145 million sale of Yeong Yang Wind Power Corp. in Korea to a fund managed by Macquarie Group. Yeong Yang owns and operates a 61.5-megawatt wind farm in eastern Korea. Herbert Smith’s Seoul partner Lewis McDonald worked with Lee & Ko’s Seoul partners Edward Kim and Ho Joon Moon advising Acciona. Kim & Chang advised the Macquarie fund.


Southeast Asia

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy advised Malaysian conglomerate Genting Group on a $730 million project financing for a 660-megawatt power plant in Banten, Indonesia. The financing is provided to Genting’s subsidiary PT Lestari Banten Energi by a consortium of lenders, including Malayan Banking Bhd., EXIM Bank of Malaysia, CIMB Bank, Citibank and RHB Bank. Milbank’s special counsel in Singapore, Melissa Lewis, led the representation. Indonesian firm Ali Budiardjo, Nugroho, Reksodiputro acted as Genting’s local counsel. Shearman & Sterling Singapore partner Bill McCormack and London partner Sanja Udovicic advised the banks on English law. Makarim & Taira S. advised the banks on local law matters.

Email: qleung@alm.com.

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