Deal highlights

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Deal highlights March 2023
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LISTINGS

JF Wealth Holdings raised HKD1.17 billion (USD149 million) in HKEX’s largest IPO of March. The company is part of the initial group of licensed securities investment advisers in China, and is one of 81 such companies operating nationwide.

Clifford Chance, King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) and Conyers Dill & Pearman advised the issuer on Hong Kong, PRC and Cayman Islands law, respectively. Latham & Watkins and JunHe acted as Hong Kong and PRC counsel to the sole sponsor, CICC, and the other 10 underwriters.

Fangda Carbon New Material, which produces carbon and graphite products, has become the first company in western China to issue global depositary receipts (GDRs) through its Swiss IPO worth USD190 million, with 40 institutional investors showing interest.

Vischer advised the issuer on Swiss law, KWM advised on US and English law, and DeHeng Law Offices acted as PRC counsel. Linklaters and Commerce & Finance Law Offices acted as international counsel and PRC counsel, respectively, to underwriters including Huatai Financial Holdings, CLSA, ABCI Securities, China Galaxy International Securities and GF Securities.

Llinks Law Offices advised Duoli Automotive Technology on its RMB2.19 billion IPO on the main board of the SZEX. Duoli Automotive Technology engages in the research and development, production and sales of automotive stamping parts, having established stable co-operation with Tesla, Li Auto, NIO and Leapmotor.

DE-SPACS

Healthcare company ETAO International Group closed its combination with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Mountain Crest Acquisition III and was listed on the Nasdaq.

Sichenzia Ross Ference advised ETAO on US law, while Jingtian & Gongcheng and Maples Group acted as PRC and Cayman Islands counsel, respectively. The SPAC tapped Loeb & Loeb and Zhong Lun Law Firm as international counsel and PRC counsel, respectively.

The Nasdaq-listed combination was originally valued at USD2.5 billion in January 2022, when the parties announced the merger, but it was reduced to USD1 billion considering the unfavourable market conditions.

BONDS

Linklaters advised Chindata Group Holdings, a US-listed data centre solution provider, on its issuance of USD300 million in senior notes due 2026. This marked the first offshore bond issuance by a China stock company since April 2021. JunHe acted as PRC counsel to underwriters Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.

JOINT VENTURES

Ashurst advised Taiwanese cable company Walsin Lihwa in a joint venture with Danish cable giant NKT HV Cables. NKT will provide the expertise and technical support for the construction, while Walsin will contribute capital. The technology being transferred from NKT is the latest one for the offshore power cable industry in Taiwan, and the new company will be the first manufacturer with such cables in Taiwan.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Lepu Biopharma and Keymed Biosciences jointly announced a global exclusive licence agreement with AstraZeneca for CMG901, a potential first-in-class Claudin 18.2 antibody-drug conjugate. Zhong Lun Law Firm advised on Lepu Biopharma.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023, and involves an upfront payment of USD63 million on closure of the transaction and sales-related milestone payments of up to USD1.1 billion, as well as tiered royalties paid by AstraZeneca.

LOANS

Allen & Overy advised Ant Group on the conversion of its USD6.5 billion syndicated loan facility into a syndicated sustainability-linked loan. As the first syndicated sustainability-linked loan in China’s internet sector completed in November last year, it was the largest of its kind in the Asia-Pacific in 2022.

White & Case acted as international counsel to International Finance Corporation (IFC), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Germany’s DEG and Proparco on a USD150 million syndicated blue loan for the Bank of Qingdao. This is one of the first blue loans in Asia and globally, and the proceeds will be on-lent to projects in line with the IFC’s blue loan criteria.

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