Corporate and M&A: foreign firms in China
Advising both leading international and domestic businesses on high-profile and innovative transactions, Clifford Chance LLP was recently particularly active in deals involving sectors such as technology, energy and infrastructure, healthcare, industrials, consumer goods and financial services. Highlights include acting for China Literature in its acquisition of New Classics Media, which produces and distributes television and web series and films. The key mainland China advisers are Shanghai's Kelly Gregory and Glen Ma, while Terence Foo splits his time between Beijing and Shanghai and Beijing's Hong Zhang was made partner in 2018. Andrew Whan in Hong Kong heads the Asia Pacific corporate and M&A practice; other key Hong Kong contacts are Emma Davies, Amy Ho, Neeraj Budhwani, Virginia Lee, Frank Yuen and recently promoted Bryan Koo. Counsel Brian Harley is based in the Beijing and Hong Kong offices.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has a strong technical expertise with a solid experience in M&A and joint ventures in China which is of value for non-Chinese clients‘.
‘The organisation of the team is very efficient with two single contacts for the client, who are fluent English speakers‘.
‘The team has in-depth understanding of clients’ business demands, fully understands the time pressure and the characteristics of the buyers in the Chinese market‘.
‘Kelly Gregory is fully committed and responsive. Her availability and pragmatic replies to complex questions are valuable. She has strong communication skills and she is an experienced negotiator‘.
‘Hong Zhang fully demonstrates his accurate understanding of the business requirements of the buyer, and cooperates well with the client to complete the work required in the transaction process‘.
Sun Hung Kai
Bank of China (Hong Kong)
Ping An Good Doctor
- Advised an Asian sovereign wealth fund on its equity investment in the merger between Chinese food delivery platform, Ele.me, and Koubei, a Chinese lifestyle services platform.
- Advised Deutsche Post DHL Group on the transfer of its supply chain operations in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau to S F Holding.
- Advised Royal DSM, a global science-based company in nutrition, health and sustainable living, on its creation of a joint venture with Nenter & Co.
Linklaters' Hong Kong and China corporate M&A practice regularly advises on highly complex M&A transactions, and it has sector expertise in automotive, finance, energy and infrastructure. Its scope of work covers multi-jurisdictional deals, joint ventures, disposals, corporate restructurings and public takeovers. In recent matters, the team acted for a consortium, comprising CKA, CKI and PAH, in its proposed acquisition of Australian listed company, APA, an energy infrastructure business. Shanghai's Simon Meng is one of the firm's China tech sector heads, John Xu advises international and Chinese corporations, state and private enterprises and financial institutions on China-related M&A transactions, Richard Gu is an experienced senior consultant, and M&A and corporate finance Lawyer Alex Roberts was promoted to counsel. The Hong Kong names to note are Robert Cleaver, Kevin Cheung, Alex Bidlake and Gilbert Li; former managing associate Colette Pan left for Fangda Partners, only to be hired soon after as partner by Shanghai's Zhao Sheng Law Firm, with whom Linklaters now enjoys a joint operation.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is highly rated for its advice to both Chinese and multinational companies on high-profile China M&A deals, particularly in relation to sectors such as TMT, energy and power, oil and gas, mining, airline, automotive and healthcare, along with infrastructure, insurance, real estate and financial institutions. Typical experience includes advising bidders, targets and financial investors on complex inbound and outbound cross-border M&A and private equity transactions, including share acquisitions and dispositions, asset acquisitions and divestitures, reorganisations and joint ventures. The practice acted for Internet Plus Holdings, a holding company created by Meituan and Dianping, in its $3.7bn acquisition of Beijing Mobike Technology Co. Peter Huang leads the Beijing office and Haiping Li is Shanghai office leader. In Hong Kong, Julie Gao is China practice head and office leader Jonathan Stone leads the firm’s Asia corporate practice (excluding Japan).
Julie Gao; Peter Huang; Haiping Li; Jonathan Stone;
Medco Energi International
- Advised Ctrip.com International and Ocean Link Partners, as members of a buyer consortium, on the $938m going-private acquisition of eHi Car Services.
- Advised YY (China) on its $1.5bn acquisition of Bigo (Singapore).
- Acted for Baidu (China) in its $1.9bn sale of a majority stake in its financial services business to a consortium, led by TPG Capital and The Carlyle Group.
Allen & Overy LLP
Advising numerous Chinese state-owned and privately-owned enterprises as well as multinationals, Allen & Overy LLP assists with public and private M&A, privatisations, private equity, joint ventures, and restructurings, and it has a significant corporate practice in key regulated industry sectors such as energy and TMT. The practice also has in-house antitrust and competition law capability, as well as IP expertise built into its broader corporate offering. Jack Wang is a senior corporate partner in the Shanghai office, Beijing-based Victor Ho is corporate head, Ling Li specialises in China outbound deals, and Benjamin Crawford and recently promoted Taoye Ye are experienced counsels. Other recommended partners are Hong Kong corporate practice head Will McAuliffe and Bernardine Lam. Former partner Ji Zou left the firm.
Will McAuliffe; Victor Ho
‘The team is very experienced and commercial and puts clients’ needs first‘.
‘Jack Wang makes things happen, always delivers on time, and works well under pressure‘.
‘Jack Wang is very experienced, commercially minded and solution orientated‘.
21st Century Fox
- Advised China Resources, a Chinese state-owned conglomerate, on a long-term $3.1bn deal with Heineken to sell beer in China.
- Advised BMW on a high-profile transaction to acquire control of its €3bn joint venture with Brilliance China Automotive.
- Acted for Diageo in its partial tender offer (through its wholly-owned subsidiary Grand Metropolitan International Holdings) to increase its aggregate equity stake in Sichuan Shuijingfang.
Baker McKenzie FenXun's 'M&A team provides excellent coverage and service'. Its lawyers have longstanding experience in advising multinational corporations that invest in China and Hong Kong. They also assist with the domestic and overseas activities of Chinese and state-owned enterprises, and the M&A practice incorporates key specialisms such as tax, merger control, employment, pensions, litigation and IP. Stanley Jia is the chief representative of the Beijing office, where Boo Bee Chun represents both buyers and sellers from a range of industries, including the oil and gas, mining, power, aviation and manufacturing sectors. Howard Wu is the chief representative of the Shanghai office, which also fields Cherrie Shi, who is 'very hands on and solutions oriented'. Tracy Wut is the recommended Hong Kong partner; counsel Zhenyu Ruan moved to the joint operation's local firm, FenXun Partners.
‘Apart from providing sound legal advice, it is extremely pragmatic and efficient in getting deals across the line‘.
‘Cherrie Shi finds pragmatic solutions to potential deal blockers‘.
Chong Hing Bank
Evergrande Health Industry Group
IDG Energy Investment
Wolverine World Wide
Yuexiu Property Company
- Advised Jin Jiang International and SINO-CEE Fund on the acquisition of the Radisson Hotel Group from HNA.
- Advised Tencent on its approximately €2.1bn acquisition of a 27.3 per cent stake in Ubisoft from Vivendi.
- Assisted Evergrande Health Industry Group with its acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in National Electric Vehicle Sweden.
DLA Piper regularly acts in large, complex corporate and M&A deals, and it has particular deal strength in sectors such as insurance, healthcare and life sciences, among others; the team also has significant regulatory and compliance experience. The practice co-heads are Shanghai-based Roy Chan, a highly rated corporate and M&A adviser to the insurance and financial services sectors in China, and the widely-respected corporate, M&A and private equity expert Qiang Li. Other notable mainland China contacts are Stewart Wang and James Chang, while Heng Loong Cheong and Luke Gannon are the Hong Kong names to note.
Aetna Global Holdings
Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store
Silk Road Fund
Qumei Home Furnishing Group
- Acted for Qumei Home Furnishing in its public takeover transaction of Norwegian furniture company, Ekornes.
- Advised CVS Health and Aetna Global Holdings on a range of complex corporate and M&A considerations, which were linked to the approximately $69bn merger of CVS Health with managed healthcare company, Aetna.
- Acted for Rajax, the operator of a Chinese online food delivery platform, in the $9.5bn trade sale of its business to Alibaba, the China-based global technology conglomerate.
Hogan Lovells International LLP acts in the full spectrum of M&A transactions, including inbound, outbound, multi-jurisdictional, and domestic M&A deals; the team's expertise also includes assisting with antitrust and national security reviews, foreign investment regulations, employee benefit considerations, IP safeguards, tax issues and acquisition financing, while the group particularly excels in the life sciences and healthcare, TMT, energy and natural resources, financial services, consumer goods and real estate sectors. The key mainland China practitioners are Jun Wei, Liang Xu, Lu Zhou, Philip Cheng, Roy Zou and Roberta Chang, while in Hong Kong Tim Fletcher leads the financial institutions group within the corporate practice and Stephanie Tang, who joined from Shearman & Sterling, is Greater China private equity head. Andrew McGinty relocated from Shanghai to the firm's Hong Kong office.
Other key lawyers:
Merck & Co
- Advised Ekornes, a Norwegian furniture company, on its sale to a Chinese buyer consortium that was led by a large Chinese furniture manufacturing group.
- Advised HNA Group on the sale of its 26.5 per cent stake in Spain’s NH Hotel Group to Minor International.
Morrison & Foerster LLP's 'team is very knowledgeable, cohesive and responsive'. It stands out for its strength in deals involving the technology and real estate sectors; it is also increasingly active in Fintech-related transactions. The M&A practice experienced growth through the hiring of Lucy Lu in Beijing and Shanghai-based Ruomu Li from Dechert LLP and Fenwick & West LLP, respectively. Paul McKenzie is managing partner of the Beijing office, where Sherry Yin specialises in corporate structuring, M&A and private equity matters; and in Shanghai, Chuan Sun focuses on cross-border M&A, TMT deals and complex IP and commercial matters. Hong Kong's Marcia Ellis, who is 'a world class expert for China and cross-border private equity transactions', and Thomas Chou co-head the Asia private equity practice; Vivian Yiu is also an experienced corporate partner.
Thomas Chou; Marcia Ellis; Paul McKenzie; Sherry Yin; Vivian Yiu
‘They not only tackle the legal and technical issues, but also provide tactical and commercial perspectives as if they are part of clients’ investment teams‘.
NewQuest Capital Partners
Farallon Capital Asia
Bain Capital Credit
Ark Pacific Capital
- Advised Alibaba Group Holding on its acquisition of a 33 per cent equity interest in financial services company, Ant Financial.
- Assisted Softbank Vision Fund with an investment in Chehaoduo.
- Acted for Trusted Doctors (Xingren) in its strategic merger agreement with Tencent Doctorwork.
Norton Rose Fulbright's corporate and M&A team is particularly noted for its sector experience involving banks, insurance and financial institutions, real estate, TMT, energy and natural resources, and life sciences and healthcare. Shanghai's Sun Hong specialises in foreign direct investment (FDI), M&A, joint ventures and corporate transactions that involve PRC assets or entities, while in Beijing Barbara Li is highly regarded for China-related cross-border transactions that particularly involve the Fintech and TMT sectors. The other recommended names are Wang Yi, Tom Luckock, Lynn Yang and of counsel Tony Zhong.
Sun Hong; Wang Yi
Beijing Capital Land
IRPC Public Company
- Advised Thai-listed petrochemical company IRPC Public Company on its equity investment in Guangzhao Saiju Performance Polymer, through the subscription of newly increased capital and the establishment of a joint venture company.
- Advised Gildan Activewear on the acquisition of TSC Fashion Trading (Shanghai).
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is widely respected for its advice on complex deals that impact China and its surrounding jurisdictions. In Beijing, Greg Liu is recommended for M&A and private equity investments, particularly in the retail and apparel and TMT sectors, Judie Ng Shortell is also an M&A private equity expert, and Jack Sun is the associate to note. Hong Kong-based Betty Yap is managing partner of the China practice, which recently experienced the departure of former China practice managing partner Jeanette Chan for Fintech unicorn, Airwallex.
Greg Liu; Judie Ng Shortell
Dalian Wanda Group
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
Universal Parks & Resorts
- Advised Chinese internet giant Tencent on the acquisition of an 80 per cent stake in Grinding Gear Games, a New Zealand-based gaming company.
- Advised SoftBank Vision Fund on its investment in Chinese truck-hailing company, Full Truck Alliance.
- Advised KKR and Tencent, as lead investors, on a $175m minority investment in Voyager Innovations, the financial technology arm of PLDT, a Philippines-based telecoms and digital services provider.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP advises Chinese state-owned (and non-state-owned) companies and financial institutions on their business activities in the US and the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australia, as well as across Asia, including Greater China. The team advises on the full spectrum of corporate work, with significant expertise in cross-border public and private M&A, joint ventures and the representation of private equity clients, both in strategic investments and fund formation. The team recently advised Ant Financial Services Group on a series of regional expansion transactions, including its $100m private placement investment in StoneCo. In Beijing, Yang Wang is highly regarded for his advice to private equity funds and corporate clients on M&A, private equity and corporate finance transactions, in addition to other general corporate matters; and Amy Liu is the associate to note. China practice head Celia Lam and Ian Ho are highly rated Hong Kong-based advisers.
Ian Ho; Yang Wang; Anthony King; Celia Lam; Chris Lin; Jin Hyuk Park
Other key lawyers:
Alibaba Group Holding
Aluminum Corporation of China
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
The Blackstone Group
Bona Film Group
Cainiao Smart Logistics Network
China Life Insurance Company
Citigroup Global Markets
iKang Healthcare Group
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co
Morgan Stanley Private Equity
Primavera Capital Group
Sequoia Capital China Fund
Silver Lake Partners
- Acted for Calsonic Kansei, a wholly-owned portfolio company of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, in the acquisition from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of its automotive components business, Magneti Marelli.
- Advised Siliconware Precision Industrial on its sale to Advanced Semiconductor Engineering.
In addition to adding four private equity partners in Hong Kong from Ropes & Gray LLP, White & Case LLP recently expanded its global M&A practice through the hiring in Beijing of partner Grace Fan-Delatour, who advises clients in the oil and gas and mining and metals sectors, and local partner Shaohui Jiang; both joined from K&L Gates. The team's recent M&A work spanned industries such as oil and gas, sports, real estate, travel and hospitality, chemicals, medical devices, automotive and consumer goods; the firm has also grown its practice in relation to technology, media and entertainment and online gaming. Alex Zhang, who divides his time between the Shanghai and Beijing offices, leads the firm's M&A practice in China; Vivian Tsoi in Shanghai is highly rated for big-ticket cross-border transactions; and in Hong Kong, Christopher Kelly is head of corporate and M&A in Asia Pacific. Former partner Andre Zhu left the firm for an in-house role.
Alex Zhang; Christopher Kelly
‘White & Case is able to put together a strong team that draws on resources both within and outside of China, including dedicated partners from Shanghai, Singapore and the United States. They are able to provide viewpoints on the inbound concerns of a foreign investor while also deeply understanding the necessary steps for working within the Chinese framework. Their Chinese associates are also superstar performers who are accomplished and diligent‘.
Qingdao Haier Co
Suzhou Dongshan Precision Manufacturing
- Advised Hong Kong-based investment firm RRJ Capital, as lead and international counsel, on the buyout acquisition of gategroup Holding from HNA Group.
- Advised Saudi Aramco on the formation of its joint venture with NORINCO Group and Panjin Xincheng to develop a fully integrated refining and petrochemicals complex.
- Acted for Warburg Pincus in the acquisition of a 40 per cent stake in a joint venture with the founders of Hande Group, which focuses on real estate development.
- Advised Groupe Legris Industries on the sale of Savoye, a French provider of IT solutions and automated systems for warehouse logistics.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Specialising in high-profile, cross-border M&A matters involving Chinese entities, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP works with a broad array of clients in China and across the Asia Pacific in industry sectors such as TMT, biotech, education, energy, financial institutions, healthcare, real estate and retail. Howard Zhang and counsel Annie Yan are the main Beijing contacts. Miranda So is an experienced adviser in the Hong Kong office, which recently experienced the departure of Paul Chow for Cathay Pacific Airways.
Miranda So; Howard Zhang
Other key lawyers:
- Advised iKang Healthcare Group (iKang) on its $1.2bn sale to a consortium of Yunfeng Capital, Alibaba Group Holding and members of iKang’s senior management.
- Advised Lufax, an online marketplace in China for the origination and trading of financial assets, on its issuance of approximately $2bn of class C shares to a consortium of investors.
- Acted for Heineken in its entry into a strategic partnership with China Resources.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has longstanding experience in advising on China inbound and outbound M&A, public takeovers, domestic and cross-border acquisitions, disposals and related corporate restructurings across the Asia Pacific region. The team has significant expertise in sectors such as TMT, energy and financial services. Beijing's Karen Ip and Tom Chau, along with Nanda Lau in Shanghai, are the names to note.
‘The partners have solid technical knowledge in their respective areas of expertise and provide prompt responses to queries‘.
CLSA Capital Markets
Shunfeng International Clean Energy
China International Capital Corporation Hong Kong Securities
S F Express
China Resources Group
Panda Green Energy Group
British American Tobacco
- Advised SF Express on its $792m acquisition of Deutsche Post DHL’s supply chain business in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.
- Acted for CLSA Capital Markets, as financial adviser to Shenzhen Investment International Capital Holdings Infrastructure, in a potential $1.89bn unconditional mandatory cash offer to acquire all of Hopewell Highway Infrastructure’s issued shares.
- Advised Shunfeng International Clean Energy on the proposed sale of its PRC manufacturing business to an affiliate of a substantial shareholder.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's M&A lawyers in China have extensive experience in advising Chinese and global clients on complex, significant and high-value transactions in China and neighbouring Asian jurisdictions; they also act in outbound deals into the US, Europe and elsewhere. Shanghai-based Mitch Dudek focuses on all aspects of corporate, real estate, and finance transactions, and Todd Liao is another key contact; other highly regarded advisers are Beijing's Alex Wang and Maurice Hoo in Hong Kong. Hao Su joined as partner in Beijing from Clifford Chance LLP.
Mitch Dudek; Maurice Hoo; Edwin Luk
Anta Sports Products
GCL-POLY Energy Holdings
Cainiao Network Technology Co
China Hengshi Foundation Company
- Advised Anta Sports Products (as lead party in a consortium) on the $5.39bn LBO of Finland’s Amer Sports.
- Advised Warburg Pincus on the sale of Mobike, a bike-sharing platform, to Meituan-Dianping.
- Was counsel to Cheyipai in its sale to SouChe.com, China’s business-to-business marketplace and financing giant.
O'Melveny fields lawyers who advise on M&A deals, as well as the investing in and disposing of businesses and assets, whether public or private, domestic or international. Shanghai managing partner Walker Wallace is highly regarded for cross-border transactions, FDI, private equity, and entertainment sector matters; and Beijing managing partner Ke Geng is a specialist in cross-border transactions. Nima Amini, Edwin Kwok and Li Han are the Hong Kong names to note.
Walker Wallace; Ke Geng; Nima Amini; Edwin Kwok; Li Han
ATAI Management Consortium
eHi Car Services
PAG Real Estate
- Advised the ATAI management consortium on the $200m leveraged acquisition of ATA Online (Beijing) Education Technology Co.
- Acted for Seek Group in its £50m investment in social learning platform, FutureLearn.
- Advised PAG Real Estate, as lead participant in a consortium that was formed with a subsidiary of China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings to purchase three office towers and associated retail facilities.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP regularly assists with complex, cross-border and outbound M&A, including corporate, real estate, employment, IP, finance and tax-related support. The team also has particular experience in sectors such as TMT, automotive, life sciences, and energy and infrastructure. Shanghai's Jeffrey Sun is a technology M&A expert, Betty Louie in Beijing is particularly focused on advising Chinese corporations on their outbound investments and acquisitions, and Jeff Zhang splits his time between the firm's Beijing and New York offices. Sarah Zeng is another key mainland China partner and Mark Lehmkuhler in Hong Kong is also highly regarded.
Jeffrey Sun; Mark Lehmkuhler; Betty Louie; Jinsong (Jeff) Zhang; Sarah Zeng
‘It is a well established team that can leverage off its global network to provide the appropriate legal service‘.
‘They are extremely experienced with China outbound investments into Europe and are able to anticipate issues well in advance‘.
‘Betty Louie is extremely experienced with complex legal issues, both M&A and regulatory issues‘.
‘Jeff Zhang is dedicated to serving his clients‘.
Silk Road Fund
China Ping An Insurance Overseas and Ping An Technology
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group
China Reform Overseas HongkongCompany
BOE Technology Group
- Acted for Qingdao Haier, the world’s largest domestic appliance brand, in its €475m investment in Candy, a European manufacturer of home appliances.
- Advised Advanced Semiconductor Engineering on its $127m acquisition, through its wholly-owned subsidiary J&R Holding, of NXP Semiconductor’s 40 per cent stake in Suzhou ASEN Semiconductors.
- Acted for a Chinese state-owned private equity fund in its sale of shares in Bilibili, a video-sharing website.
Paul Hastings LLP
Paul Hastings LLP is widely respected for its experience in deals involving the technology, Fintech, life sciences, and media, entertainment and telecoms sectors, and the practice has particular strength in major outbound acquisitions. Working across the Shanghai and Beijing offices, Jia Yan primarily handles cross-border M&A deals, restructurings and private equity investments. The other names to note are Shanghai's corporate law specialist David Wang and recently promoted of counsel Sophie Han, along with Meka Meng in Beijing. In Hong Kong, Raymond Li chairs the Greater China practice and Vivian Lam is also highly regarded. Former Beijing partner and chief representative Nan Li left for Tian Yuan Law Firm's Hong Kong office.
David Wang; Jia Yan; Raymond Li; Vivian Lam
‘The cross-border M&A team has broad array of transaction experience, is client-focused and has keen understanding of important legal risks of its clients‘.
‘David Wang’s global view on cross-border M&A and practical legal advice is first rate‘.
‘Jia Yan’s rapport with Chinese corporations and getting the deal across the line during difficult negotiations is second to none‘.
Ping An Insurance
Alpha Investment Partners
- Advised COSCO SHIPPING Holdings on a voluntary general cash offer for Orient Overseas (International)’s issued shares.
- Acted for CDH Genetech, part of the CDH Investments group, in its $1.4bn acquisition of Sirtex Medical’s issued shares.
- Advised CIMC-TianDa Holdings on various corporate matters.
Reed Smith Richards Butler
Reed Smith Richards Butler's scope of work covers acting for Chinese clients in their outbound investments and offshore deals, as well as advising foreign clients that invest in mainland China. The principal mainland China advisers are Jay Yan and Amy Yin in Shanghai, together with Beijing-based Michael Fosh and Jie Zhang. Growth in the mainland practice saw the hiring of Simmons & Simmons' former Beijing office head Eric Lin, while counsel Ke Zhang was recruited from Paul Hastings LLP.
Michael Fosh; Jay Yan; Denise Jong; Michael Pepper
‘The Hong Kong team is very familiar with the capital markets environment in Hong Kong and the Mainland China, and is very helpful in advancing the completion of the transaction‘.
Shearman & Sterling LLP's track record includes advising on complex and multi-jurisdictional M&A transactions, and the team is regularly appointed by large Chinese state-owned enterprises and corporations on strategic transactions; it has specific expertise in the TMT, energy, infrastructure and financial institutions sectors. Lee Edwards in Beijing has extensive experience in M&A and FDI transactions, and M&A partner Li Chen divides her time between the Hong Kong and Beijing offices. The Hong Kong names to note are global head of the private capital industry group Paul Strecker and Greater China head Lorna Chen. Former corporate partner Stephanie Tang left for Hogan Lovells' Hong Kong office.
Li Chen; Lorna Chen; Max Hua
China Merchant Funds
China State Construction Engineering Corporation
China-LAC Co-operation Fund
Danone Asia Pte
Hubei Science & Technology Investment Group
InfrAlpha Advisors (Hong Kong)
Jiangxi Railway Investment Group Corporation
Russia China Investment Fund
Shanghai Electric Group
Sino Ocean Group
State Grid International Development
- Advised InfrAlpha (and its affiliated funds) on an equity investment in Singapore-incorporated power generation company, Summit Power International.
- Advised China Telecom on its joint venture project with Udenna in the Philippines.
- Acted for CarVal Investors in a minority equity investment in Shanghai Wensheng Asset Management Company.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP focuses on complex, high-profile, cross-border M&A transactions in Hong Kong and China, and the practice stands out for its ability to execute US public M&A deals out of Asia; it also has particular strength in deals involving the TMT and healthcare sectors. Charles Ching, who divides his time between the firm's Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong offices, heads the China practice and co-heads the firm's Asia’s offices. Tim Gardner is managing partner for the Hong Kong office, where Henry Ong is praised for his ability to 'assist clients with successfully completing complex transactions'.
Charles Ching; Tim Gardner
Other key lawyers:
‘Knowledgeable and well-coordinated across different practice areas- a safe pair of hands‘.
‘As far as cross-border transactions are concerned, the firm understands the international commercial market and industry conditions of relevant industries, and has a relatively deep understanding of relevant domestic laws and regulations‘.
Huanxi Media Group
- Advised Alibaba Group Holding on its acquisition of online marketplace Daraz, a portfolio company of German internet incubator, Rocket Internet.
- Advised a consortium, including MBK Partners, on its taking private of eHi Car Services.
- Advised Shanghai Pharmaceuticals on its $1.2bn acquisition of Cardinal Health.
Sidley Austin LLP
Ashurst handles a diverse range of cross-border, pan-Asia and China inbound and outbound M&A, joint ventures and other corporate transactions throughout the Asian region. The team has particular market experience in relation to energy, infrastructure, mining and resources, retail, TMT and venture capital. Shanghai managing partner Michael Sheng, who heads the corporate and M&A practice in mainland China, advises on China-related FDI and M&A deals; Daniel Oehvall is an experienced key counsel.
Family Mart UNY Holdings
Macquarie Capital and Covanta Energy
Synthesis Med Chem
- Advised Synthesis Med Chem on the proposed sale of its China drug contract research organisation operations to Yatai Industrial.
- Advised Facebook on the establishment of a number of joint ventures with other technology and telecoms companies to build, own and operate trans-Asia telecoms backbone networks.
- Advised Macquarie Capital and Covanta Energy on their successful bid, as part of a consortium with Metro Pacific Investments, to develop a waste-to-energy project in the Philippines.
Bird & Bird fields lawyers with particular strength in transactions involving sectors such as technology and communications, life sciences and healthcare, private equity and venture capital, retail, entertainment, media and sports, and aviation. John Shi is the chief representative of the firm's Beijing office; the other key mainland China contacts are Shan Lai and Shanghai-based Sven-Michael Werner.
John Shi; Shan Lai; Sven-Michael Werner
Valeo Siemens e-Automotive
Beijing Xinwei Technology Group
Israel Aerospace Industries
Natural Beauty Bio-Technology
- Acted for Valeo Siemens eAutomotive in the establishment of an equity joint venture in China with state-owned Fawer Automotive Parts.
- Assisted Natural Beauty Bio-Technology with Hong Kong listing rules compliance work.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is highly rated for its experience in international M&A transactions, with particular strength in cross-border deals. On the mainland, Denise Shiu has extensive experience in M&A and private equity transactions, and corporate lawyer Tian Gao was promoted to counsel. Freeman Chan and Gabriele Antonazzo are the names to note in Hong Kong, while former chief representative in Beijing Ling Huang left for King & Wood Mallesons.
Denise Shiu; Freeman Chan; Gabriele Antonazzo
Other key lawyers:
China International Capital Corporation
- Advised tobacco firm Huabao International Holdings on its acquisition of Jiahao Foodstuff, which supplies condiment products.
- Acted for TPG in the sale of an equity stake in China International Capital.
- Advised Goldman Sachs, as financial adviser to The Hanover Insurance Group on the sale of its Chaucer business to China Reinsurance (Group).
CMS' scope of work covers M&A, establishing joint ventures, restructuring, corporate finance, compliance, spin-offs and liquidations, and IPOs. The team recently advised SCHOTT on the establishment of a joint venture with Zhejiang Crystal-Optech, and acted for Yongfeng Group, a Chinese steel manufacturer, on the acquisition of Germany's Bürkle Group. Ulrike Glueck is Shanghai office managing partner.
Yongfeng Group C
- Advised Krones on the acquisition of Shanghai Xiantong Equipment Installation, a Chinese manufacturer of power equipment.
- Advised Sinochem Group on the acquisition of Spanish plastics producer ELIX Polymers from private equity investor, Sun European Partners.
Deacons' 'experienced team provides practical, timely advice and legal support'. The firm has an extensive network of offices in mainland China, which includes Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and the practice stands out for transactions involving investment managers and private equity funds. It has particular strength in acting for Japanese companies. Myles Seto, who heads up the China offices, splits his time between Hong Kong, Shanghai and Eastern China, and Joyce Mu is an experienced legal counsel in the Guangzhou office.
Ronny Chow; Eugina Chan; Machiuanna Chu
‘Myles Seto is particularly good – he is knowledgeable and provides quick and practical advice‘.
AAG Energy Holdings
China Power Clean Energy Development Company
Kerry Logistics Network
Lai Sun Group
Manfield Chemical Holdings
The Wharf (Holdings)
Wheelock and Company
Eversheds Sutherland's Beijing-based China corporate head Jay Ze combines significant transactional expertise with experience in the energy and natural resources sector; Shanghai managing partner Jack Cai heads the China Inbound M&A team, and Richard Cao is an experienced principal associate. The M&A practice's clients benefit from the firm's Asia Pacific Alliance, through which it collaborates with over 30 Asia Pacific firms.
Stephen Mok; Jay Ze; Charles Butcher; Jack Cai
Other key lawyers:
China Development Bank
China-LAC Cooperation Fund
- Advised HNA Aviation on its proposed sale of low- cost carrier Hong Kong Express Airways to Cathay Pacific.
- Acted for CGN Energy International Holdings in its acquisition of Brazilian wind power company, Atlantic Energias Renováveis, from Actis Capital.
- Advised Iron Mountain, a global leader in storage and information management services, on its acquisition of Lane Archive Technologies in the Philippines.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP's scope of practice covers complex M&A transactions that involve multiple jurisdictions and practice groups, take-private transactions, FDI and public deals. Yi Zhang, who works across the firm's Hong Kong and Beijing offices, focuses on China corporate work, and Fang Xue is an established M&A and private equity partner.
Fang Xue; Graham Winter; Yi Zhang
First Pacific Company
Melco International Development
D E Shaw
Capital Today Group
Huamao Property Holdings
- Advised Yida China on its acquisition of an offshore company that indirectly holds real estate development projects.
- Advised CITIC Capital and Caixin Global on the acquisition of a financial information database operator from Euromoney Institutional Investor.
- Assisted mCube with establishing a joint venture in Qingdao with Qingdao Microelectronics Innovation Center.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. is a firm of choice for large French multinational groups, but the client base also includes significant Chinese companies. The practice's sector experience includes aeronautics and defence, automotive, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and steel, along with banking and finance, retail, manufacturing, and tourism and leisure. The recommended practitioners are Shanghai-based David Boitout and office leader Fan Jiannian, together with Beijing office head Guo Min.
David Boitout; Fan Jiannian; Guo Min
‘What make this practice unique is its broad knowledge of any legal matter that may arise during an M&A operation‘.
‘Guo Min is a smart and business-oriented lawyer‘.
‘Jannian Fan and Can Cao have very good technical skills‘.
Icicle Fashion Group Co
- Advised BioMérieux on its approximately €114m acquisition of Suzhou Hybiome Biomedical Engineering Co.
- Acted as lead counsel to Renault in its acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in Shenyang Brilliance JinBei Automobile.
- Advised Total Raffinage Chimie, a subsidiary of oil and gas group Total, on the sale of its polystyrene business in China to Ineos Styrolution, a global styrenics supplier.
Jones Day regularly assists Chinese companies with outbound matters and the practice is well known for significant life sciences deals in China. M&A Chair for Asia Angel Huang is in charge of the Shanghai office, where Ross Keene and Liming Yuan are also key advisers; Jessie Tang heads up the Beijing office.
K&L Gates advises on China-related inbound and outbound M&A deals across a variety of industries, such as financial services, automobile, energy and resources, manufacturing, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, infrastructure and transportation, telecoms and Fintech. The principal advisers are Shanghai-based Simon Poh and Max Gu, Henry Wang in Beijing, and Beijing and Hong Kong-based Frank Voon. Former M&A partner Grace Fan-Delatour left for White & Case LLP's Beijing office.
China Union Pay
Kaisa Group Holdings
Tonghua Dongbao Pharmaceutical
- Advised Protective Industrial Products, a US supplier of hand protection and general safety products, on the China aspects of its acquisition of West Chester Protective Gear.
- Acted for a Tokyo-listed conglomerate in the acquisition of two PRC chemicals manufacturers.
- Advised Iron Mountain, an American enterprise information management services company, on its acquisition of a records management business in China.
Kirkland & Ellis International LLP's experienced team of M&A lawyers covers the full range of transformational transactional work in Hong Kong and the PRC, with supporting debt finance and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act practices. Chuan Li is a senior corporate partner, who splits his time between the Beijing and Shanghai offices; he focuses on cross-border M&A and other complex corporate and private equity transactions.
Daniel Dusek; David Patrick Eich; Chuan Li; Gary Li; Nicholas Norris; David Zhang; Joey Chau
The Boeing Company
Shougang Concord International Enterprises
Loyal Valley Capital
Bain Capital Private Equity
The Carlyle Group
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
- Advised GLP, a global provider of logistics facilities and technology solutions, on its entry into a strategic partnership with IndoSpace, an industrial real estate platform in India.
- Advised The Boeing Company on its complex joint venture with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China.
- Acted for Church & Dwight in its long-term strategic alliance with Shanghai Jahwa United.
Sullivan & Cromwell
Sullivan & Cromwell regularly advises on cross-border matters, including China outbound investments that involve Chinese SOEs. Gwen Wong in Beijing has extensive experience in M&A; she has acted for parties in complex cross-border deals, public takeovers, privatisations, private sales and purchases, consortium bids and private equity investments and exits.
Winston & Strawn LLP advises clients from the financial services, life sciences, IT and hospitality sectors; the practice includes assisting with tender offers, LBOs, privatisations, spin offs and recapitalisations. Brinton Scott is managing partner of the Shanghai office.
Brinton Scott; Simon Luk
Highland Avenue Capital Partners
- Assisted Danish conglomerate Danfoss with its purchase of UQM Technologies, a New York Stock Exchange-listed clean energy propulsion company.
- Advised Highland Avenue Capital Partners, a private investment firm, on its acquisition of a specialty chemical distributor’s assets.
- Assisted Chart Industries, a medical supply company, with the sale of its oxygen-related products business, including a complex restructuring.
Baker Botts L.L.P.
Baker Botts L.L.P. recently hired corporate and M&A head Manuel (Bing) Maisog, the former Beijing office head of Hunton & Williams; he is particularly focused on deals involving technology, energy and natural resources, life sciences and healthcare, financial services, retail and consumer products.
Manuel (Bing) Maisog
Cuatrecasas is an Iberian law firm that is experienced in advising Chinese companies with global investment interests in Europe, Latin America and Africa; it also acts for European and Latin American companies that invest in China. Omar Puertas and Pablo Cubel are the principal contacts.
Omar Puertas; Pablo Cubel
Hospital Clínic de Barcelona
- Advised SEAT on a joint venture with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile to manufacture and sell electric cars.
- Assisted Spain’s Lamigraf with establishing a subsidiary in China.
- Advised Meliá Hotels International on a hotel management agreement signed with Chengdu Renju Tourism & Hospitality.
Dechert LLP's Hong Kong-based team is experienced in handling complex cross-border transactions; the team recently advised on several M&A and investment deals, spanning across Asia, America, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Stephen Chan and recently promoted Yang Wang are the main advisers. Nicholas Song left the firm to become JustCo's legal VP.
Stephen Chan; David Cho
Other key lawyers:
Fortune Group Holdings
Lone Star Fund
China Financial Services Holdings
Portico International Holdings
- Advised Fortune Group Holdings on the $150m acquisition of the Fortune media brand from Meredith.
- Advised Lone Star Fund on its indirect acquisition of significant, unconventional coalbed methane blocks in China.
- Advised Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation on its proposed divestment of significant oil assets in Argentina.
Garrigues has 'strong knowledge of both Spanish and Chinese law'. The corporate and M&A department focuses on inbound and outbound projects. China managing partner Manuel Torres Salazar 'leads a team of advisers in a very expert way'; he advises on cross-border matters and assists foreign investors with their business in China, including the structuring and reorganisation of foreign investment enterprises. Principal associate Lucy Luo heads the corporate department in the Shanghai office.
Manuel Torres Salazar
Other key lawyers:
‘Manuel Torres Salazar helps clients introduce their business in China in a very smooth and speedy manner‘.
Sociedad Estatal Correos y Telégrafos
China Harbour Engineering Company
- Advised Spanish company Manufacturas Tomás on the acquisition of equity in Yingde Meilin Extreme Sports Product Co.
- Advised Sociedad Estatal Correos y Telégrafos on a joint venture for the provision of logistic services in the e-commerce sector.
- Assisted a Chinese company with its infrastructure investment in Colombia.
Latham & Watkins LLP's Shanghai managing partner Rowland Cheng is experienced in advising overseas financial institutions, strategic investors and Chinese corporations on private equity and venture investments, M&A deals and joint ventures; former Beijing managing partner Yilong Du is now GC at Warburg Pincus Asia.
Other key lawyers:
Mayer Brown's corporate and M&A practice includes assistance with regulatory, tax, fund formation and investment management matters, along with private equity, technology and real estate law advice. Beijing-based Ian Lewis has significant China commercial, real estate and hospitality experience.
Other key lawyers:
Milbank is frequently instructed on cross-border, corporate and M&A and corporate financing transactions in China and Hong Kong that have a significant private equity component. Shepard Liu in Beijing combines corporate and M&A strength with experience in projects.
Other key lawyers:
‘Commercial and responsive. Always understands the client’s needs and acts in the client’s best interest‘.
- Advised d&b audiotechnik, a Germany-based loudspeaker and amplifier manufacturer, on the formation of a joint venture in Hong Kong.
Proskauer Rose LLP is active in both inbound and outbound transactions; the firm also has a robust China private equity practice; the team recently assisted with deals in the real estate, hospitality, healthcare, and media and entertainment industries. Yuval Tal and Ying Li divide their time between the Hong Kong and Beijing offices.
Yuval Tal; Ying Li; Jeremy Leifer
Schroder Adveq Management
Country Garden Asset Management
Huarong International Financial Holdings
Formosa International Hotels
- Advised Barcelona-based client Grifols on its entry into a strategic alliance with blood plasma company, Shanghai RAAS Blood Products.
- Advised Accor on its acquisition of Tribe, Australia’s integrated modular hotel brand.
- Advised Publicis Groupe, the global communications group, on its acquisition of a Shanghai-based video production business.
Ropes & Gray LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP is experienced in advising corporate entities in China on technology-related deals; the team also has expertise in matters involving healthcare, life sciences, pharmaceuticals and electronics. Hong Kong's James Lidbury is Asia M&A head; former M&A partner Jieni Gu left for Haiwen & Partners in Shanghai.
‘The team is very thoughtful in terms of understanding clients’ needs and it has the ability to anticipate issues before they happen‘.
‘Provides prompt attention to the instructed work and timely response with practical solutions and advice‘.
ASM Pacific Technology
Hong Kong International Construction Investment Management Group
- Advised Alibaba, as lead member of a consortium, on the $1.38bn investment in ZTO Express, one of the largest express delivery companies globally.
- Acted for Fintech company Ant Financial in its strategic partnership with Openrice Group, a Hong Kong online restaurant database and review service.
- Advised ASM Pacific, a Hong Kong-listed electronics manufacturer, on its acquisition of US-based TEL NEXX from Tokyo Electron.
Simmons & Simmons fields lawyers who are experienced in transactions that involve sectors such as asset management and investment funds, financial institutions and TMT. Michael Chin divides his time between the Hong Kong and Shanghai offices; former Beijing office head Eric Lin exited for Reed Smith Richards Butler.
Other key lawyers:
Stephenson Harwood's practice in mainland China regularly works alongside its associated PRC law firm, Wei Tu Law Firm. The team covers the full range of Greater China-related M&A transactions, including public and private, domestic, cross-border matters. Chun-Hui Lin is a partner in the Hong Kong and Beijing offices; former corporate and capital markets partner Allen Shyu left for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.
Other key lawyers:
K&L Win Investment Holding Co
Duff & Phelps
- Advised Blue Umbrella, which provides due diligence research and third party compliance technologies, on the sale of its pre-employment screening division in five jurisdictions.
- Acted for the joint provisional liquidators of CECEP COSTIN New Materials Group in the proposed acquisition of a real estate portfolio.
- Advised eSun Holdings on its acquisition of a 10 per cent stake in Intercontinental Group Holdings.
Taylor Wessing LLP Beijing Representative Office
Taylor Wessing LLP Beijing Representative Office is singled out for its ability to 'act coherently and as a team with flawless handover'. Christoph Hezel is the chief representative of the Beijing office, and has expertise in FDI, M&A and corporate restructuring, with a particular focus on the healthcare sector. Also key to the mainland offices are Johnny Zhao and Shanghai's Michael Tan.
Michael-Florian Ranft; Qun Huang; Robert Fenner; Amanda Chen
‘Taylor Wessing has been bridging Europe and China for almost two decades. It has worked with large corporates and is agile enough to work with startups too‘.
‘Michael-Florian Ranft is extremely experienced, agile, inventive and very quick to react. Above the purely mandated work packages, he is willing to support in other fields and make connections to very relevant business matters‘.
Shanghai Electric Group
Shenyang Machine Tool
FC Bayern München
Nantong Rainbow Heavy Industries
- Advised Nantong Rainbow Heavy Industries on its acquisition of a business segment from Danish plant manufacturer, FLSmitdth.
- Advised Germany’s Deutz on its joint venture with SANY, a Chinese heavy equipment manufacturing company, for the production of diesel engines.
Uría Menéndez's Beijing office is run by Spanish and Latin American lawyers, who have extensive experience in outbound and inbound cross-border investments and M&A. Antonio Sánchez Cerbá heads the Beijing office.
Antonio Sánchez Cerbá
Shanghai RAAS Blood Products
- Acted for Mediavideo in the sale of its equity interests in Imagina Media Audiovisual to an Orient Hontai Capital-led consortium.
- Advised Shanghai RAAS Blood Products on its strategic alliance with Grifols.