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A ‘leading name in corporate and M&A matters’, Christopher & Lee Ong is a member of the Rajah & Tann Asia Network. It provides ‘one-stop-shop’ services to an array of local and international clients to meet their needs in complex high-end cross-border transactions. It has acted for several publicly listed corporations in Malaysia on initial listings on stock exchanges, mandatory takeover offers and equity fund instructions. It is advising MM2 Asia on the acquisition of the business and assets of 13 cinema sites, plus an option for two additional ones in Terengganu and Sandakan from Lotus Fivestar Cinemas, with an aggregate value near RM118m, Kuok Yew Chen leads the advice. Yon See Ting and Kelvin Kho are acting for Valeo on its acquisition of Precico Electronics for the sum of RM132m. Other key practitioners include Christopher Lee, Lee Hock Chye, Yau Yee Ming and Por Chuei Ying.

Moy Pui Yee, an experienced lawyer in takeovers, M&A, joint ventures, foreign investment, real estate and corporate transactions, leads the corporate practice at Rahmat Lim & Partners. A team headed by Lim Teong Sit, Chen Lee Won and Ang Sinn E assisted GuocoLand Limited with its expansion to the UK and Australian markets via a proposed RM777m investment in EcoWorld International. It also acted for Hap Seng Land on its joint venture with TTDI KL Metropolis to form Golden Suncity, aimed at developing a 8.95 acre mixed commercial project that will form part of a major commercial plan development known as KL Metropolis valued at MR3.8bn. Chen Lee Won, Jocelyn Ang and Ho Wei Lih are the key contacts.

Shearn Delamore & Co fields one of the most established corporate teams in the country. The practice is commended for its ‘response times, industry knowledge, appropriate advice, strength-in-depth, and value for money’. The team advised Sumitomo Rubber Industries on the Malaysian aspects of its acquisition of the trade mark rights of the DUNLOP brand, sporting goods and licensing business. It also assisted SunPower technology (together with Dentons Hong Kong and Jones Day) with the acquisition of a 50% stake in its joint venture company SunPower Malaysia Manufacturing from AU Optronics Singapore. The team is headed by Grace Yeoh; Ng Swee Kee is also noted for his work.

Skrine’s Theresa Chong leads the corporate practice. She is highly-regarded for her expertise in advising foreign corporations on setting up businesses in Malaysia, joint ventures, negotiating and drafting of corporate structures, and also on inbound/outbound investments. Janet Looi acted for Endurium Holding on the sale of Taylor-Wharton Malaysia to Air Water. Cheng Kee Check is also a key name in the team. Faizah Jamaludin has left the practice to join the judiciary. Other clients include Murphy Oil Corporation and Kulim.

Wong & Partners’ Munir Abdul Aziz advised Ekuiti Nasional on the MYR2.8b sale of its indirect interest in Icon Offshore and Orkim Sdn to UMW Oil & Gas Corporation. The team also acted for CHAMP Private Equity on its approximately $100m acquisition of a 50% interest in the Containerchain Group via its CHAMP IV Fund. Head of practice Brian Chia led the advice to Zurich Insurance on its MYR525m acquisition of the equity interests in MAA Takaful Berhad from MAA Group Berhad and Solidarity Group Holding BSC. Managing partner Andre Gan is also recommended; he led the advice to McDonald's Corporation on the sale of its Malaysian subsidiary, Golden Arches Restaurants, to Saudi group Lionhorn.

At Abdullah Chan & Co, head of practice Vincent Chan together with Yap Hui Lu and Muthanna Abdullah are very active advising corporate clients from across a variety of industry sectors including aviation, biotechnology, energy, financial services and real estate. Its list of longstanding clients includes Sapura Group, Goldman Sachs, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and CIMB Group.

Top-notch’ firm Kadir Andri & Partners handles matters spanning the whole gamut of the corporate field, including working across the aviation, automotive, media, manufacturing, banking insurance, fund management, energy, oil and gas, and telecoms sectors. Tan Kong Yam, who leads the group, has advised Tenaga Nasional on its RM761m voluntary takeover of shares in Integrax. Samuel Hong assisted NTT DATA with matters connnected to its $13m acquisition of iPay88.

Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill’s corporate practice is ‘top level, punctual, professional and good value for money’ according to one source. Highlights for the practice included acting for Reliance Holdings on the complex sale of the substantial and remaining stake in listed corporation Reliance Pacific in an RM200m operation, and advising Perusahaan Minyak Sawit Bintang and Yong Peng Realty (both subsidiaries of I&P Group) on the sale of business assets, including land, machinery, equipment and vehicles, to Sime Darby Plantation. Practice head Tay Weng Hwee and Ooi Bee Hong are key contacts.

Work highlights for Mah-Kamariyah & Philip Koh included advising IOI Properties Group on several instructions with an aggregate value of close to RM2bn, and assisting NCB Holdings with an unconditional takeover from MMC Port Holdings. Practice head Adrian Koh receives praise for his pragmatism and knowledge.

Shook Lin & Bok’s lawyers ‘deliver high-quality services and provide appropriate corporate advice’. Highlights included acting for a Japanese corporation on the acquisition and due diligence matters pertaining to the purchase of a polyethylene film production corporation for the sum of RM37.4m, and advised a Malaysian corporation on the application to be licensed by the Securities Commission as a peer-to-peer operator. Ivan Ho Yue Chan heads the team, ably assisted by Jalalullail Othman.

Led by Tan Wooi, Zaid Ibrahim & Co (a member of ZICO Law)’s corporate team advised Crowdo Malaysia on the establishment of a regulated crowd-funding platform, and also assisted Telenor Financial Services with its acquisition of Prabhu Money Transfer. Gilbert Gan is another key contact in the team, which is noted for ‘having excellent response times and providing sound commercial solutions’.

Zain & Co’ corporate lawyers ‘can understand clients’ requirements, and are able to address issues and propose solutions in a practical and timely manner’. Highlights included acting for Permodalan Nasional on the acquisition of the entire issued and paid-up share capital in Syarikat Malacca Straits from Sime Darby Properties and two other corporations. Notable clients include Petroliam Nasional, Projek Lintasan, Mass Rapid Transit Corporation and EKUINAS. Practice head Salwah Abdul Shukor, Rebecca Jeyanthi Selvaraj and Pauline Ngiam are recommended.

Adnan Sundra & Low is noted for its expertise in a vast array of corporate matters including cross-border M&A, takeovers, privatisations, joint ventures, corporate governance and compliance. Wong Chin Chin, Adrian Chee and Tracy Ng Tsu Ynn are the key contact names.

Albar & Partners fields a ‘savvy’ corporate team, which advises on corporate and security law, listing and de-listing of companies, M&A, reverse takeovers, joint ventures, venture capital, foreign direct investments, REIT issues, as well as corporate and debt restructurings. The practice advised Prestariang SKIN (and its ultimate holding company Prestariang Services) on all-related corporate matters connected to its concession agreement with the Government of Malaysia to revamp Malaysia’s national immigration under the Sistem Kawalan Imigresen Nasional (SKIN) project, in a deal with a matter value of close to RM3.5bn. Practice head Lily Tan and Natalie Peh Suan Wan are key contacts.

Azmi & Associates’ highlights have included advising the shareholders of a food and beverage corporation on the sale of a 40% stake to a Japanese company and assisting Bemis Company with its $79m acquisition of SteriPack. Azmi Mohd Ali receives commendation for his work.

Cheang & Ariff is known for successfuly pairing regulatory knowledge with commercial acumen. The team advised MAA Group and Solidarity Group as sellers on the sale of the total equity interest in MAA Takaful to Zurich Insurance for the sum of RM525m. Tan Ming-Li and Yeat Soo Ching are noted.

Notable highlights for Chooi & Company’s corporate team included advising CJ Korea Express Corporation on its acquisition of a 30% interest in a publicly listed corporation in Bursa Malaysia, the work comprised regulatory advice, due diligence, pertinent applications before the authorities and general advice relating to corporate structure. The firm was also instructed by Australian corporation Continental AG to advise on the acquisition of the Vulcanite Group’s Malaysian subsidiary. Chooi Mun Sou leads the team, which also includes key contact David Ong.

The ‘very active corporate team’ at Jeff Leong, Poon & Wong is regularly involved in big-ticket, cross-border transactions and works with close affiliates in Vietnam, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Mongolia and Indonesia. The group acted for Sime Darby Property (as the seller) on all corporate-matters connected to the sale of two pieces of land which required approval from the minority shareholders; the matter was particularly complex due to the nature of the corresponding registration titles, further complicated by the corporate governance restrictions applying to the seller’s majority shareholders. James Wong, Kenny Poon and Jeff Leong are all noteworthy practitioners.

Mohamed Ridza & Co’s team receives praise for its fast responses and industry knowledge. It advises on a wide variety of corporate, M&A and joint ventures transactions for local and international clients. Highlights included acting for Felda Global Ventures Holdings (as the seller) on a proposed sale of a 60% interest in FGV China Oils to Feiyada Global Agriculture (GuangDong), and drafting documentation for as well as providing strategic advice to a major construction company. Managing partner Mohamed Ridza Abdullah, practice head Sharifah Shafika Alsagoff, Hafidah Aman Hashim and Mohamad Nazran Basirun are all noted.

Murad Yee Partnership’s ‘strategic thinker’ Yee Fook Weng is leading the advice to the owner and operator of a commercial property on a proposed divestment of its total stake, worth close to RM150m, in the property, while Kuay Ken Nye is acting for a corporation on the proposed sale of a significant minority stake in its money service business to a strategic investor for an approximate value of RM50m.

Naqiz & Partners has corporate expertise in matters relating to M&A, foreign direct investment in Malaysia, due diligence, venture capital and private equity and company formation. Khairul Ismail and Eliv Lau are assisting Nationwide Express Courier Services (NECSB) with its proposed exchange of all existing listed shares in the company for new shares in a new investment holding company; the operation has an approximate value of RM60m. The practice is also advising Bell Flavors & Fragances Malaysia on its proposed acquisition of Sillage Aromatique from Nardev Chemie.

Recent work for Peter Ling & van Geyzel has included advising OCK Group on its purchase of Southeast Asia Telecommunications Holdings for the sum of $50m and assisting Chin Hin Group with the acquisition of Mi Polymer Concrete Pipes in a RM35m operation. Marcus van Geyzel and Peter Ling are the key contacts.

Raja, Darryl & Loh is advising NYSE-listed Pentair on the Malaysian elements of the disposal of its valves and control business to Emerson Electric, in an operation with a global value of more than $3.15bn. The practice is also supporting German bio-technology, corporation Merck KGaA, with the Malaysian aspects of its integration with Sigma-Aldrich, following the latter’s acquisition by the former. Practice head Chew Phye Keat, Tai Chu Wei, Chan Kok Seng, Joyce Teh Yen Yen and Chong Mei Mei are recommended.

Boutique firm Sedgley & Co focuses on corporate and commercial law. Founding partner Iain Sedgley is renowned for his expertise in corporate, M&A and joint ventures. Sedgley and his team are providing a holding corporation and its group of companies legal support on several commercial ventures.

Tay & Partners works for a broad variety of clients in matters ranging from acquisitions and investments by private corporations to takeovers of publicly listed companies. It advised Spanish corporation ITASA Servicios Generales on its acquisition of 100% of the ordinary and preferential shares in Akronn Industries for approximately RM3m. Teo Wai Sum is the key name.

Wong Beh & Toh’s corporate group has vast experience in providing assistance to corporations from the agriculture, automotive, IT and real estate sectors. Wong Tat Chung, Yeap Lin Lin and Cynthia Toh are the names to note.

The ‘excellent and responsive’ team at Zul Rafique & Partners provides ‘accurate and appropriate advice’. The ‘impressiveJerry Ong is advising Matrix Reservoir’s shareholders on the proposed sale of a 51% controlling interest to Ahmad Zaki Resources for the sum of MR55m. The firm also advised Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited (BOCHK) on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Bank of China Malaysia from Bank of China Limited (BOCL) in an MR2.02bn operation.

Boutique fim Ben & Partners’ specialises in, among other matters, corporate finance, IPOs, takeovers, M&A, capital markets transactions, corporate governance issues and debt restructurings. Highlights for the practice included advising South Korean corporation Future Data on the Malaysian aspects of its HKEx IPO. Managing partner Koay Ben Ree is the key name.

Deol & Gill’s representative work highlights have included advising a government-linked company on the sale of its energy portfolio for the sum of RM9.8bn, and assisting Tenaga Nasional Berhad with the acquisition of a 70% stake in Jimah East Power.

Donovan & Ho’s ‘small but efficient’ corporate team ‘punches above its weight’. It advises businesses and investors on M&A, shareholders agreements, terms of service, related-employee issues and general corporate matters. Clients include Farm to Fork (DMK), IsitUp Dotcom, and Axiata Digital Services. Shawn Ho and Donovan Cheah are the names to note.

HL Tan Lim & Partners’ Ronald Tan and Jacqueline Lim acted for Eko Karya on the acquisition of Indonesian mining projects on the island of Sulawesi, and advised a Shanghai-listed company on the acquisition of a majority interest in a subsidiary of a Malaysia-listed company.

Highlights for Putri Norlisa Chair included advising Bose Corporation on the sale of its manufacturing and development operations in Penang to Flextronics International Europe, with Adrian Chair leading. Constance Low and Putri Norlisa Najib also receive recognition for their expertise.

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Legal Developments in Malaysia for Corporate and M&A

  • Malaysian Corporations Making Headway in the Global M&A Scene

    Malaysian companies continue to make waves internationally by acquiring large companies abroad. Leveraging on the European debt crisis and the weak dollar, these companies have boldly made their mark on a global scale with impressive deals. Cross-border acquisitions are increasing trend in the Asian economic hot spots, with companies in China and India spearheading it. The consistently strong uptrend in foreign acquisitions and the increasing success of the same by China and India for the past few years has spurred growing interests of Southeast Asian companies to extend their reach to other continents.
    - Azmi & Associates

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