legal news in brief, Asia Business Law Journal

Hastings hole in one

Paul Hastings announced it is advising Golfzon Newdin and its affiliates on the acquisition of 100% of the equity interest in Leadbetter Golf Academies, a US-based golf instruction institute founded by legendary golf coach David Leadbetter.

Golfzon plans to integrate the institute’s coaching techniques with its golf simulator technology and further expand business globally following this acquisition.

Paul Hastings’ team was led by partners Daniel Kim Sae-chin in Seoul, Tiffany Lee and Matthew Berger in Palo Alto, with associates Albert Nah, Park Hae-in and Lee Han-kyu.

SIAC ties with SCIA

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) to promote international arbitration as a preferred method of dispute resolution for resolving international disputes.
Under the MOU signed on 24 August, SIAC and SCIA will work together to promote international arbitration to serve the needs of businesses, and will hold an annual joint signature event on international arbitration in either China or Singapore. Both institutions will, upon request and where appropriate, provide recommendations of arbitrators to each other.

Transport alliance

Nishimura & Asahi has advised Hitachi Transport System on its share acquisition, capital and business alliance with SG Holdings and Sagawa Express.

Under the deal, Hitachi Transport System bought 20% of Sagawa Express for ¥66.3 billion (US$595 million) from its parent SG Holdings, while SG Holdings bought 29% percent of Hitachi Transport System for ¥87.6 billion. The Nishimura & Asahi team advising Hitachi Transport System was led by partners Yuji Shiga, Jiro Abe and Takeshi Nemoto.

Carlsberg buys a beer

Baker McKenzie advised Carlsberg on its acquisition of an additional 25% stake in Cambrew, the Cambodian brewer of Angkor Premium Beer. The transaction gives Carlsberg management control of the business in a beer market that offers appealing long-term growth opportunities.

Partner Tracy Wut, special counsel Robert Wright, and senior associate Matthew Love, all of Baker McKenzie Hong Kong, advised Carlsberg on the transaction.

Reed Smith moves house

Reed Smith has moved its Singapore office to a larger space in the Ocean Financial Centre building in Raffles Place. It will continue to share its office space with Formal Law Alliance partner Resource Law. Since establishing its presence in Singapore in 2012, and later entering into a Formal Law Alliance with Resource Law LLC in 2016, the office has grown to 57 staff, including 36 lawyers.

Date set on integration

Nishimura & Asahi has been advising Idemitsu Kosan on its business integration with Showa Shell Sekiyu, with Idemitsu announcing it will set the effective date of the integration
as 1 April 2019.

Showa Shell will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Idemitsu through a statutory share-exchange, and Showa Shell will be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Nishimura team advising Idemitsu is led by partners Michihiro Mori, Ryutaro Nakayama, Yuki Oi, Kohei Koikawa, Naoya Ariyoshi, Kaku Hirao, Yusuke Motoyanagi and Takeshi Nemoto.

Alibaba invests in Trendyol

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett represented Alibaba in connection with its completed strategic investment in Trendyol. Alibaba’s investment in Trendyol marks the largest internet sector transaction in Turkey to date. Trendyol operates the leading e-commerce platform in Turkey and serves more than 16 million customers.

KWM in Tower IPO

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised China Tower Corporation on its proposed global offering and H-share listing on the main board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Zhong Lun Law Firm and Commerce & Finance Law Offices served as legal counsel for the underwriters in the IPO.

The HK$54.3 billion (US$6.9bn) IPO, before exercise of the over-allotment option, made it the largest worldwide since October 2016. China Tower is the world’s largest telecoms tower infrastructure service provider.

Aurora IPO’s joint advisers

Skadden and Maples and Calder advised Aurora Mobile, a leading mobile big data solutions platform in China, on its US$77 million IPO of American Depositary Shares for a Nasdaq listing. Representing the underwriters in the Aurora Mobile IPO were Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, along with Goldman Sachs (Asia) and Credit Suisse.

LLS gets new name

Indian IP boutique Lall Lahiri & Salhotra (LLS) has recently been renamed Rahul Chaudhry & Partners to reflect the current ownership of the firm.

Rahul Chaudhry, the managing partner, took over LLS’ management in July 2007, and acquired 100% ownership of the firm in March 2013. The firm’s composition and team structure remain unchanged by the rebranding.

CAM hires Sam lawyer

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) has appointed Mukul Sharma as a partner in its corporate practice. Sharma will work in the firm’s Delhi office. He joins from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (SAM) where he worked as a principal associate since May 2015. Sharma had worked at Amarchand Mangaldas in 2011 and also worked previously with AZB & Partners.

ANM in FC purchase

ANM Global advised Sudeva FC, one of the largest football clubs in Delhi, in the purchase of an 85% stake in the Spanish football club Olimpic. The firm carried out due diligence of the Spanish club along with structuring, drafting and negotiating the purchase agreement. Partner Nidhish Mehrotra and principal associate Piyush Joshi worked on the deal.

This is the second overseas acquisition of a football club by an Indian entity after Venky’s took over English club Blackburn Rovers in 2010. Sudeva International, which is a subsidiary of Sudeva FC, bought the shares for an undisclosed amount.

ZICO opens new office

ZICO Law announced the opening of Sok-Siphana & Associates’ (SSA) new office in Siem Reap. The opening is the network’s 18th office in ASEAN, and aims to help the firm’s clients meet challenges facing the tourism, hospitality and real estate sectors in Cambodia.

Managing partner of SSA, Dr Sok Siphana, said: “We are excited to expand our presence in Cambodia with a new office in Siem Reap. As a bustling and vibrant tourist hub, Siem Reap is ripe with economic activity, and our lawyers look forward to helping companies thrive here.”

DFDL assists food JV

DFDL successfully assisted Jinju Ham, a South Korean meat processing company, on its acquisition of a 25% stake in Saigon Nutri-food JSC to form a joint venture with Vietnam’s major FMCG Masan Consumer Corporation. The entity will be renamed Masan Jinju. The team advising on Vietnam legal matters on the deal included Jerome Buzenet, Hoang Phong Anh and Phan Thi Trang Dai.

Skadden in bio IPO

Skadden advised BeiGene (China and Massachusetts, US), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative molecularly-targeted and immuno-oncology drugs for the treatment of cancer, on its US$903 million IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. This is Hong Kong’s largest biotechnology IPO to date, and also the first dual primary listing of a Nasdaq-listed biotechnology company. Trading in the shares commenced on 8 August.

The Skadden team was led by partners Christopher W Betts and Andrea L Nicolas with Counsel Benjamin K Marsh. Partner Pamela Lawrence Endreny and associate Jennifer L Sabin assisted on tax matters. The lawyers are based in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and New York.

Withers advises nickel giant

Withers KhattarWong advised Silkroad Nickel, formerly known as China Bearing (Singapore), in its reverse takeover by mining company FE Resources and successful listing on the Catalist Board of the Singapore Exchange. Silkroad Nickel was the first nickel mining company to list on the exchange.

The Withers team comprised corporate partner Leong Chuo-ming, and legal associates Low Shan-you and Chow Su-rin were the solicitors to Silkroad Nickel for the acquisition of the entire issued and paid-up share capital of FE Resources, resulting in a reverse takeover of the company.

Nishimura gets health expert

Mariko Mimura, a member of the board of directors of GlaxoSmithKline until June 2018, has joined Nishimura & Asahi as an of counsel. Mimura was formerly executive officer/legal executive manager of GE Healthcare Japan Corporation, and director and legal and IP executive manager of Novartis Holding Japan. She is expected to make a significant contribution to the firm’s life science/healthcare practice group.

Landmark tech IPO

Skadden has advised global technology leader Xiaomi Corporation on its approximately US$4.7 billion IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. This is the first Hong Kong offering to date to adopt a dual-class share structure, and the first to list under Hong Kong’s new regime for innovative tech companies.

The Skadden team was led by corporate partners Julie Gao and Christopher Betts, with partner Will Cai, of counsel Antony Dapiran and counsel Anthony Pang (all Hong Kong), counsel Yuting Wu (Shanghai), and associates Yilin Xu, Karen Song and Sophia Tong.