Legal news in brief

legal news in brief Asia Business Law Journal
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Linklaters in RJPT HK listing

Linklaters advised China Securities (International) Corporate Finance as sole sponsor on the H-share listing of Rizhao Port Jurong (RJPT). The law firm noted that this is the first A-share spin-off listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in the port sector in recent years.

RJPT is a joint venture between China A-share listed company, Rizhao Port and Singapore-owned Jurong Port. The company’s listing has innovative features including the conversion of foreign investor held domestic shares into H Shares and a complex corporate reorganization involving domestic and foreign parties. The Linklaters team was led by corporate partners Iris Leung and Kevin Cheung.

Maples advises on Hansoh IPO

The Maples Group’s legal services division in Hong Kong has acted as Cayman Islands counsel to Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group Company in relation to its IPO of 551,280,000 shares listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Hansoh is a Chinese pharmaceutical company.

The offering, which closed on 14 June, raised about HK$7.86 billion (US$1 billion). The Maples team comprised partner Derrick Kan and associate Marc Tan. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Hong Kong) acted as Hong Kong and US counsel for Hansoh, and Clifford Chance acted as Hong Kong and US counsel for the underwriters.

Gender on HKEX agenda

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange on 27 May updated its guidance letter on producing IPO listing documents to require new listing applicants to specifically address gender diversity in their IPO prospectuses.

Since 1 January 2019, greater focus has been placed on board diversity with the requirement for listed companies to have a diversity policy, being upgraded from a corporate governance code provision to a mandatory listing rule. The exchange has taken a step further to address gender imbalance on boards of Hong Kong-listed companies by requiring specific gender diversity disclosures in IPO prospectuses.

SIAC enters two MoUs

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) announced entering into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with each of the Japan Association of Arbitrators (JAA) and the Japan International Dispute Resolution Centre (JIDRC) to promote international arbitration as a preferred method of dispute resolution for resolving international disputes.

Both MoUs were entered into during a signing ceremony on 4 June at a conference in Tokyo. Under the MoUs, the SIAC will work with each of JAA and JIDRC to jointly promote international arbitration through co-organizing conferences, seminars, workshops and training programmes on international arbitration in Japan and Singapore.

Ogier hires from eversheds

Corporate lawyer Geoffrey Tang has joined Ogier’s Hong Kong corporate team. Tang advises on equity capital markets, group restructurings and general corporate advisory work, and has a particular focus on private and public M&A transactions.

Shearman adds new counsel

Shearman & Sterling announced that Terrence O’Donnell has joined its Asia capital markets practice as counsel. He will be based in the Hong Kong office initially, and relocate to Singapore later in the year.

O’Donnell’s practice focuses on equity and debt capital markets, M&A and private equity transactions. He has experience advising companies in China and Southeast Asia across a wide range of sectors, and has spent more than 10 years in Hong Kong.

New firm in construction

Ian Cocking and Dennis Wong announce the opening of law firm Cocking & Co in Hong Kong. Its team, the core of which has been together since 2005, handle construction and infrastructure projects in Hong Kong, Macau, China and worldwide.

The firm provides legal services across the entire project life cycle from environmental impact assessment study, design and development, procurement through to contract drafting, tendering, construction administration, completion, and dispute resolution.

Baker helps Prospa IPO

Baker McKenzie’s Sydney office successfully acted for Macquarie Capital (Australia) and UBS’ Australia branch as joint lead managers and underwriters of Australia’s leading online small business lender, Prospa Group’s A$110 million (US$76.2 million) IPO.

The capital raising has given Prospa market capitalization of A$610 million, with shares having commenced trading on the Australian Stock Exchange on 11 June. The Baker McKenzie team was led by capital markets partner Antony Rumboll, with support from associates Daniel McGuiness and Ivo Basoski, and graduate Jessica Tang.

Pepsico sells bottling arm

J Sagar Associates (JSA) advised and assisted PepsiCo India on the sale of its bottling operations for its carbonated drinks business in seven states and five union territories in western and southern India to Varun Beverages Limited (VBL).

VBL is now a franchise of PepsiCo’s beverages business across 27 states and seven union territories as well as its largest bottler in India.

CIE Automotive buys Inteva

L&L Partners acted for and advised Inteva on the India elements of the sale of the US-based automotive company’s roof systems business to CIE Automotive for US$755 million.

The firm assisted Inteva with reverse due diligence, structuring and implementation of the pre-transaction carve-out of the business into a new special purpose subsidiary in India, and the subsequent transfer and sale to CIE.

Other jurisdictions involved in the deal included France, Germany, Netherlands, Slovakia and the US. The L&L team comprised partner Vikrant Kumar and associates Bissheesh Roy and Anina D’Cunha.

Withers hires M&A partner

Withers KhattarWong, the Singapore office of international law firm Withers, has hired M&A and debt restructuring partner Erlene Tan from RPC Premier Law. Tan has both private practice and in-house experience, having previously also worked as a senior legal counsel at CapitaMalls Asia.

AWA Asia HIRES senior attorney

AWA Asia announce that Hai Liu will join the firm as a senior patent attorney. Hai is a China-qualified patent attorney and brings over a decade of experience working with China patents to the team in Beijing. He is familiar with patent practices in the US and EU and has worked closely with Chinese pharmaceutical companies on invention extractions, filing strategies, validity searches and infringement analysis.

Ashurst on BNI financing deal

Ashurst acted for Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) as sole arranger and original lender in relation to US$231.9 million in secured facilities to J Resources Nusantara, an Indonesian gold miner, through its subsidiaries, with operating projects in Indonesia and Malaysia. The facilities were used, in part, to refinance existing operating projects of J Resources and its subsidiaries, as well as to develop a new gold mine in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

The Ashurst team was led by partners Jean Woo (Singapore) and Rizaldy Tauhid (Jakarta), assisted by senior associates Cara Stevens and Safita Narthfilda, associates Eugene Ang and Ernita Rahmawati, and graduate Caroline Christian.

New disputes partner at KWM

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) recently added Rachel Yu as a partner in the dispute resolution practice of the Hong Kong office. Yu has more than 12 years of experience advising clients primarily on complex financial disputes.

Skadden revs up Uxin issuance

Skadden represented Uxin, a China used car e-commerce platform, in its issuance and sale of convertible notes in an aggregate principal amount of US$230 million, through a private placement. The investors include, Warburg Pincus and TPG.

The transaction was announced on 29 May. The Skadden team was led by partner Julie Gao (Hong Kong), with counsel Shu Du (Hong Kong), and associates Yiming Liu (Shanghai), Cindy Zhiran Li and Sophie Zhao (both Hong Kong)

BCLP recruits finance Partner

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) recently appointed Dominic Gregory as a partner strengthening the firm’s global banking and infrastructure finance practices in Asia.

Gregory will join BCLP’s Singapore office but his finance practice will span Asia, with a particular focus on Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Indonesia. His cross-border experience covers project finance, leveraged finance, real estate finance, sovereign and export credit finance and restructurings, as well as asset, trade and structured finance.

Sushi chain adds Wasabi

Nishimura & Asahi advised Sushiro Global, Japan’s largest listed sushi chain operator, on its acquisition of a minority stake in UK-based fast-food chain Wasabi Sushi Bento.

Sushiro Global also entered into a business alliance with one of its joint investors, Capdesia Group, and Wasabi to seek further business development opportunities. The Nishimura & Asahi team advising Sushiro was led by partners Taisuke Igaki and Mark Tudor, supported by associate Peter Armstrong.

Tokyo partner returns to firm

K&L Gates added Tsuguhito Omagari as a corporate/M&A partner in its Tokyo office. Omagari rejoins K&L Gates from local Tokyo firm Sonderhoff & Einsel.

His practice focuses on domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private investment in public entities, private equity, domestic and international joint ventures, real estate investment transactions, and other corporate and related regulatory matters. He also advises international companies on investing and doing business in Japan.

HKMA signs bank MOU

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Bank of Thailand (BoT) in May to foster collaboration between the two regulators in promoting financial innovation. The HKMA and the BoT may collaborate by way of referral of innovative businesses, information and experience sharing, and joint innovation projects. The two authorities are considering a potential collaboration on a joint research project relating to digital currency.

Reliance buys UK’s hamleys

India’s Reliance Brands acquired iconic British toymaker Hamleys from Hong Kong-listed C Banner International for US$84 million in an all-cash deal. Slaughter & May advised Reliance on the English law aspects of the deal, while Khaitan & Co advised on Indian law aspects.

The Slaughter & May team included partners Nilufer von Bismarck, Sara Luder, Cathy Connolly, Phil Linnard, Jane Edwarde and Claire Jeffs. Khaitan & Co was represented on the deal by partners Rahul Dutt, Akshay Bhargav, principal associate Vinita Choudhury, senior associate Shreya Dua and associate Krishna Shah.

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