Private equity in Hong Kong
Benefiting from strong relationships with a balanced mix of international funds (including CVC and Permira), pan Asian/China-based sponsors (including MBK and Affinity), and sovereign wealth funds, has exposure to a broad range of M&A activity throughout the region, including on public-to-private transactions, Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPEs) and pre-IPO investments. As well as its corporate work on downstream investments, clients are also appreciative of the firm's full-service approach within the space, including complimentary expertise across fund formation, leveraged finance, and capital markets. Neeraj Budhwani and Andrew Whan departed to Milbank.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is very accomplished.’
CVC Capital Partners
Affinity Equity Partners
- Advised a company backed by the Permira Funds on its proposed acquisition of the majority of the shares of Topcast Aviation Supplies Company Limited and its affiliates, the largest independent aircraft parts distributor in Asia Pacific, from its founders.
- Advised certain selling shareholders on their sale of interests in PRASAC Microfinance Limited, a leading Cambodian micro-finance institution established in 1995 as a provider of credit to the agricultural sector, to Kookmin Bank Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of KB Financial Group of Korea, the largest financial holding company in Korea.
- Advised Tencent on its subscription for certain Series G preferred Shares in Yuanfudao, a Chinese online education platform which offers online courses and homework plans to students and ranks first in China for in-app purchases in the education category.
A 'clear market-leader in the private equity space', Kirkland & Ellis' overarching expertise in relation to fund formation, financing, and the downstream corporate M&A activity, ensures that it is able to provide a one-stop-shop service to an impressive roster of international and regional sponsors across the spectrum of their requirements throughout the region. With Hong Kong-based lawyers benefiting from dual domestic and US qualifications and also able to access the firm's market-leading debt finance and corporate expertise in the US, the team has been at the forefront of the increasing number of take-private deals involving US-listed Chinese companies. Daniel Dusek has been involved in many of these transactions, including his work, alongside Xiaoxi Lin, for an investment consortium on the $8.7bn take-private of NYSE-listed Chinese company 58.com Inc. Gary Li is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘A clear market leader in the private equity space.’
GLP Pte. Ltd. and the consortium offeror comprising GLP and the Fung family
Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.
The founders of Topcast Aviation Supplies Company Limited
Cartesian Capital Group
MediaOcean LLC / Vista Equity Partners
- Acting as international co-counsel for an investor consortium in the approx. $8.7bn proposed take-private of 58.com Inc, China’s largest online classifieds marketplace.
- Advising a consortium of investors on the proposed take-private of China Biologic Products Holdings at a valuation of approximately $4.6bn.
- Represented Ligang Zhang, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of iKang Healthcare Group, Inc, as a member of the buyer consortium in the $1.5bn going private transaction of iKan.
With a sizeable presence on the ground in Hong Kong and Beijing, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is well-placed to handle M&A-related Greater China work for international and regional sponsors (KKR, Hillhouse Capital) and sovereign wealth funds, either in their capacities as sole investors or as part of a consortium. Although the team is involved in investments across a range of sectors, including retail and financial services, it is perhaps best-known for its work within the tech space, where as well as advising core traditional private equity investors, a significant amount of deal flow is driven by the likes of the Chinese tech giant and investment corporation, Tencent. Betty Yap and Jack Lange co-head the team.
Other key lawyers:
Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia
The Carlyle Group
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
Apollo Global Management
ShawKwei & Partners
- Advised Asia-based private equity firm Hillhouse Capital in a joint venture to establish a virtual bank in Hong Kong. .
- Represented KKR in its investment in and launch of Cue & Co., the first one-stop digital marketing company primarily aimed at the Chinese market. This is the first transaction of its kind in China, which involved the buy-out and combination of four leading PRC companies in different parts of the digital marketing value chain.
- Advised global investment firm KKR in its $794m acquisition of a majority equity stake in NVC Lighting Holding Limited’s (NVC Lighting) China lighting business (NVC China). The transaction involves carve-outs and roll-over by a Hong Kong listed company and a carve-out transaction by an A-share listed PRC company.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
A longstanding presence in Hong Kong and also able to leverage resources in mainland China, as well as from its market-leading US offering, private equity heavy-hitter Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has the resources and knowledge to handle a diverse range of work for local funds, international sponsors and Chinese conglomerates, including on joint ventures, strategic investments, and disposals. The 'superb' Ian Ho has particularly strong ties with core firmwide institutional sponsor heavyweights, KKR and Blackstone, which he advises on their investment strategies throughout Asia Pacific, including India, South Korea, and Japan. Celia Lam regularly handles China-related private equity work, as part of her broad-ranging capital markets and M&A practice
‘Ian Ho is superb.’
Alibaba Group Holding Limited
Aluminum Corporation of China
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
The Blackstone Group (and portfolio companies)
Bona Film Group
Cainiao Smart Logistics Network
The Carlyle Group
China Life Insurance Company
China National Chemical Corporation
Citigroup Global Markets
iKang Healthcare Group
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (and portfolio companies)
Koubei Holding Limited
Morgan Stanley Private Equity
Primavera Capital Group
Sequoia Capital China Fund
Silver Lake Partners
Yunfeng Fund L.P
- Advised KKR on its $2.2bn acquisition of certain international operations from Campbell Soup Company.
- Advised KKR on its approximately $1.5bn investment in Jio Platform.
- Representation of Blackstone in its approximately $462m acquisition of a majority stake in Essel Propack Limited, a leading global specialty packaging company and the largest global manufacturer of laminated tubes, which is listed in India.
Led from Hong Kong by Tim Gardner and also benefiting from significant resources in mainland China, as well as globally from the US and Europe, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's three-partner team is well-placed to handle work on its own or in collaboration with other offices, for a plethora of leading regional and international sponsors. The firm's focus over recent years on strengthening relationships with the major regional powerhouses in the market, including for the likes of Hillhouse Capital, MBK Partners, and Baring Private Equity Asia, has paid dividends in the recent turbulent market conditions, given the amount of dry powder these sponsors are able to deploy and their ability to take an opportunistic approach to deals in the market. Chris Welty has an excellent reputation and is the go-to-practitioner in the team for transactions involving US-listed companies, including his work for the founder and CEO of 58.com on the Chinese company's recent $8.7bn take-private.
Founder, Chairman and CEO of 58.com, Mr. Jinbo Yao
Public Sector Pension Investment Board
SoftBank Vision Fund
Anchor Equity Partners
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board
Baring Private Equity Asia
- Advised Mr. Yao and the investor consortium, in the proposed take-private of the company, at a valuation of approximately $8.7bn.
- Advised TPG Capital Asia, TPG Growth and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board in their acquisition of up to 35% of Dream Cruises, a leading Asia-based cruise line.
- Advising Baring Private Equity Asia on the proposed sale of HCP Packaging.
Led on the corporate front by the 'very strong' Daniel Yeh and also benefiting from a 'top-notch' finance practice, White & Case is well regarded by a balanced roster of international and regional sponsors, sovereign wealth funds, as well as corporates deploying a private equity-like investment strategy. With four partners focused across the spectrum of private equity investment activity, including venture capital growth buyouts, bolt-on acquisitions, dispositions, and take-private work, the team has a strong appreciation of market trends and the critical mass to handle a significant volume and variety of mandates. The firm's robust regional platform, which includes offices in China, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore, enables it to seamlessly execute deals relying on necessary local expertise, while its ability to execute deals in Asia utilising New York and UK-governed law is also a strong selling point. Although the team is involved in investment activity across a myriad sectors, TMT and healthcare, are particular areas of strength. William Fong is also recommended.
EQT, and its portfolio GPA Global
CAA China, LLC
Mubadala Investment Company
Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners
Bain Capital Credit
The Carlyle Group
- Representation of EQT Partners AB and its portfolio company GPA Global, on GPA Global’s bolt-on acquisition of Hub Folding Box.
- Representation of GIC on its series B+ investment in Harbour Biomed.
- Representation of Icon Group, a portfolio company of Goldman Sachs Principal Investment Area, in its acquisition of SunTech Medical Group.
Led by Simon Cooke, Latham & Watkins LLP continues to make headway in the market, with the 'youthful and hungry team' generating significant deal flow on behalf of local sponsors, including MBK Partners and CITIC Capital, as well as for the firm's strong base of blue-chip international funds, including Warburg Pincus and the Carlyle Group. With expertise on the corporate, finance, and regulatory fronts, and benefiting from lawyers with Hong Kong, UK, and US qualifications, the team is able to provide a one-stop-shop service to sponsors throughout their lifecycle. Native Mandarin speaker Frank Sun excels in advising private equity clients on complex inbound and outbound China deals, including his recent high-profile work for CITIC Capital, as part of a consortium, in relation to the take private of US-listed Chinese company, China Biologic Products Holdings. Amy Beckingham is recommended for her work on both the buy and sell-side, across a range of industries, including real estate and fintech.
‘It is a youthful and hungry team.’
The Carlyle Group
Baring Private Equity Asia
- Represented Carlyle Asia Investment Advisors Limited in the privatisation of Hong Kong-listed Asia Satellite Telecommunication by a joint venture vehicle jointly and indirectly owned by Carlyle Asia Investment Advisors and CITIC Group Corporation.
- Advising CITIC Capital, as a member of the buyer consortium, on the privatisation of US-listed China Biologic Products Holdings Inc, a developer of plasma-based therapies.
- Advised Warburg Pincus Asia on its investment into Converge ICT Solutions, a Philippines-based telecommunications provider. This was Warburg Pincus’ first investment in the Philippines.
Co-heads Scott Jalowayski and Brian Schwarzwalder 'think strategically about deals' and continue to develop Gibson Dunn's private equity offering, following their arrival several years ago from Ropes & Gray LLP. The scope of the work handled by the team is broad and includes buy and sell-side mandates across a range of industry sectors, including infrastructure, energy, healthcare, and telecoms. Splitting his time between the firm's Hong Kong and Beijing offices, Yi Zhang provides 'very professional and clear thinking advice' on China-related private equity and venture capital work.
Other key lawyers:
‘Brian Schwarzwalder and Scott Jalowayski are go-to lawyers for sponsors. They are more than just lawyers – they think strategically about deals and are often a couple of steps ahead in the process.’
‘Yi Zhang provides very professional and clear thinking advice.’
I Squared Capital
Icon Group (and its sponsors, Goldman Sachs PIA, QIC and Pagoda Investments)
IPI Partners, LLC
Anchor Equity Partners (Asia) Ltd.
First Pacific Company Limited
- Represented I Squared Capital on its acquisition, through its portfolio company HGCGlobal Communications, of Macroview Telecom, a China-based IT services company that provides systems integration services for the telecom industry.
- Advised I Squared Capital in its acquisition from Telstra of three data centres in Hong Kong, Singapore and London.
- Qdvised IPI Partners, LLC in connection with its bid to acquire AirTrunk, a company that develops and operates hyperscale data centres in the Asia Pacific region.
Leveraging strong commercial and transactional TMT credentials throughout Asia and the US, Morrison & Foerster's sweet-spot lies in advising corporates and funds engaged in M&A and financing activity within the tech, life sciences, and healthcare sectors. Despite being less visible than some of its higher-ranked peers on traditional private equity sponsor-led deals, the team has developed strong relationships with Asia-based tech giants, including Alibaba and Softbank, ensuring that it receives a significant pipeline of transactional work in the space. Indeed, Marcia Ellis, who is now also the the global chair of the private equity group, regularly advises Softbank's Vision Fund on its venture capital investments throughout the investment lifecycle, including on a $225m Series D+ round in Hong Kong-based online travel platform, Klook. Thomas Chou co-heads the team and is well-equipped to provide commercial advice to investors and investees, on purely Asia-related deals, as well as mandates with a US nexus, by virtue of his significant Silicon Valley-related experience.
Other key lawyers:
Softbank Vision Fund
NewQuest Capital Partners
Farallon Capital Asia
Bain Capital Credit
Ark Pacific Capital
- Advised Alibaba Group Holding Limited in Alibaba’s acquisition of a minority equity interest in Ant Financial, China’s leading financial services company.
- Advised SoftBank Vision Fund on its $1.5bn investment in Chehaoduo.
- Acted for SoftBank Vision Fund in connection with the Series D+ round funding totaling $225m in Klook, an online travel platform that provides global travel locating and booking services.
Ropes & Gray LLP
Despite suffering a number of high-profile departures over recent years, Ropes & Gray LLP's Hong Kong office remains a strong brand for private equity work and continues to pick up instructions from firmwide institutional sponsors on many of their Greater China-related investments. In addition, the team remains a popular choice among numerous top-notch regional sponsors, including Baring Private Equity Asia, which it recently advised on its investment in JD Health, a subsidiary of China-based e-commerce group JD.com. Native Mandarin speaker Peng Yu heads the team and has a strong reputation on Chinese-facing mandates.
Other key lawyers:
Baring Private Equity Asia
Nan Fung Group
- Advised Baring Private Equity Asia on its investment in JD Health, as part of that company’s Series A preferred share financing round, which raised $1bn-plus.
- Advised SigulerGuff & Company which, with certain other investors, purchased Series B+ Preferred Shares in Plum, a China-based e-commerce platform specialised in previously-owned fashion and luxury products.
- Advised Nan Fung Group, a leading property developer based in Hong Kong, in connection with its buyout of Westbrook Partners’ approximately 90% interest in a seven-story, 830,000-square-foot office and industrial property in Long Island City, New York.
Shearman & Sterling's Greater China practice – which houses M&A, fund formation, and leverage finance practitioners across Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai - has strong penetration among a plethora of alternative private capital institutions, including sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and pension funds, and is consequently involved in a sizeable number of high-profile mandates, where such clients are involved in either a passive or active co-investor role. Team head Li Chen advises international and China-based funds and corporates on inbound and outbound work and is appreciated not only for her core transactional prowess but also her knowledge of the concomitant regulatory compliance issues, including as it relates to CFIUS.
Agricultural Bank of China (ABCI)
Asia Development Bank (ADB)
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)
CarVal Investors, LLC
China Investment Cooperation (CIC)
China Merchants Capital
China National Petroleum Company International/PetroChina
China Resources Capital
China State Construction Engineering Corporation
China Telecom Corporation
China-LAC Co-operation Fund
China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE)
Export Import Bank of China
Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP)
Hubei Science & Technology Investment Group
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Jiangxi Railway Investment Group Corporation
Korean Investment Corporation (KIC)
Mubadala Capital China
Qatar Investment Authority (QIA)
RCIF Asset Management
Shanghai Electric Group
Sino Ocean Group
State Grid International Development Limited
Telecommunication Industrial Fund
- Advising CPPIB, as significant shareholder in HKBN Ltd. on its acquisition of all of WTT’s shares in exchange for issuing a combination of HKBN shares and Vendor Loan Notes to MBK Partners and TPG.
- Represent Global Infrastructure Partners (Emerging Market) on its various China-related large-scale transactions.
- Represent Mubadala Capital on its China-related matters.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Although it has a relatively small Hong Kong footprint, particularly in light of Gabriele Antonazzo's relocation to the firm's London office, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is able to mobilise resources utilising lawyers, primarily based in Beijing, to effectively represent regional/international sponsors and sovereign wealth funds on their Asia-based investment work. Native Cantonese speaking UK and Hong Kong-qualified partner Freeman Chan is the principal contact for private equity-related work, an area of expertise that he combines with his broader M&A and capital markets offering.
HOPU Fund Management Company
Silk Road Fund
- Representing Silk Road Fund Co. Ltd. and its subsidiary CVXF Inc. (CVXF) in CVXF’s acquisition of 49% of the share capital of ACWA Power Renewable Energy Holding Limited.
- Cleary Gottlieb represented HOPU Fund Management Company and its affiliates in its investment in Trax Ltd.
- Cleary Gottlieb represented a TPG-led consortium in its acquisition of a 30% stake in jewelry brand, APM Monaco.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Despite being more generalist and smaller than some other higher-ranked firms, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP handles a significant amount of private equity transactional work, particularly in the TMT space. 'Fantastic, smart and well-connected' team head Miranda So leads on the highest-profile mandates handled by the team, including a considerable amount of venture capital work for Chinese tech giant, Tencent.
Other key lawyers:
‘Miranda So is fantastic, smart and well-connected.’
- Advised Cornell Capital in connection with its investment in Lorom Holding, a leading manufacturing solutions provider focusing on specialised cable manufacturing and assembly.
- Advised Li & Fung Ltd. in connection with an investment by Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited in Li & Fung’s logistics business, LF Logistics.
- Advised Tencent on its participation in the Series F equity financing round of Tuhu Car Inc. as a lead investor.
Co-headed by Yash Rana and Douglas Freeman, Goodwin has a core focus on handling transactions within the "new economy", with expertise on behalf of both investors and investees, from early-stage financings through to trade sales or IPO exits. Although the team is perhaps best known for its venture capital style work, it also handles broader M&A/private equity matters, often working alongside colleagues from its expanding international presence, including on take-private mandates, leveraged buyouts, bolt-on acquisitions, and PIPEs.
‘The firm has expertise across the investment life cycle, from early-stage to growth equity to leveraged buyouts.’
‘Abhishek Krishnan is an outstanding attorney and is incredibly knowledgeable, efficient, commercial, and responsive.’
China Silver Asset Management (Hong Kong)
Duff & Phelps
Falcon Edge Capital
FountainVest Partners (Asia) Limited
Hillhouse Capital Management
LGT Capital Partners
Lone Pine Capital
Softbank Vision Fund
Tybourne Capital Management
- Represented PAG in connection with its disposal of certain shares it held in NYSE-listed SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc, a leading theme park and entertainment company.
- Represented Hillhouse Capital Management on a PIPE investment of $500m in TAL Education Group.
- Represented investment funds affiliated with TA Associates in the buyout of Accion Labs Holdings from Basil Technology Partners and Accion’s management.
Hot on the heels of team head Stephanie Tang's arrival at the beginning of 2019 from Shearman & Sterling, the return of Laurence Davidson from Chinese investment conglomerate, HNA Group, in November 2019, further enhances Hogan Lovells' corporate and private equity credentials. Much of the investment work for both local and global funds is within the TMT, life sciences and health care sectors, and the firm is able to bring added value to such deals by being able to tap into a strong accompanying regulatory capability across antitrust and national security-related matters. Tang has developed particular expertise in relation to take-private transactions of US-listed Chinese companies.
Buyer consortium in acquisition of Gridsum Holding Inc
Jumei International Holding Limited
- Advised the special committee of Jumei International Holding Limited on the acquisition and going-private transaction.
- Advised the buyer consortium in the buyout transaction of Nasdaq-listed Gridsum Holding Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based big-data analytics and AI solutions for multinational and domestic enterprises and government agencies in China.
- Advised Sedgwick, Inc., a global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits, and integrated business solutions, on its $6.7bn sale of KKR’s majority stake in the enlarged Sedgwick group to The Carlyle Group.
Benefiting from expertise on the financing and corporate front, and enhanced, particularly in relation to China due diligence, by the firm's recent establishment of a joint operation office with Shanghai Zhao Sheng Law Firm, Linklaters is an increasingly compelling proposition to both regional, as well as international investors and financiers. Although the firm is slightly less visible among the more familiar private equity sponsors in the market, its versatile client base includes distressed investors, hedge funds, the investment arms of investment banks, and sovereign wealth funds, thereby enabling it to handle a significant deal flow, particularly in relation to those within the tech, infrastructure and energy sectors. Alex Bidlake is the principal Hong Kong-based contact for private equity-related corporate work.
MGI Tech Co., Ltd.
Sichuan Shuangma Cement Co., Ltd. and Henan Hexie Jinyu Investment Fund (Limited Partnership)
Genting Hong Kong Limited
Russia-China Investment Fund
- Advised Russia-China Investment Fund in connection with its investment as a series B2-E round lead investor in Shenzhen DianMao Technology Company Limited.
- Acting for Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and additional arrangers on the $3.5bn acquisition financing commitment to fund the proposed privatisation of 58.com by a consortium consisting of Warburg Pincus, General Atlantic, Ocean Link and the Chairman and CEO of 58.com.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (in association with Luk & Partners) continues to make headway in the market, since the opening of its Hong Kong office in 2017. Acting on its own, as well as in conjunction with lawyers based in Beijing and Shanghai, the team provides a full service to funds clients, from investment-related work and portfolio management, through to exit advice. Led by the vastly experienced Maurice Hoo, the team has developed particularly strong relationships with Warburg Pincus and BOCI, advising the former on a raft of growth and late-stage financings in the TMT space.
BOCI Financial Products Limited
- Advised Warburg Pincus in connection with YuanFuDao’s $1bn Series G investment in which Hillhouse Capital led the round with participation from existing investors Tencent and IDG Capital, as well as Boyu Capital.
- Advised Warburg Pincus on its $500m investment Series B round financing in Ziroom, a China-based home-renting platform.
- Advised Warburg Pincus in connection with its $140m investment in Gaosi Education Group, a Beijing-based company focused on online live-streaming K12 course delivery.
Paul Hastings LLP
Acting on its own, as well as alongside lawyers in mainland China, South Korea, and Japan, Paul Hastings LLP's Hong Kong team has strong ties with global and local investment managers, and excels at handling private equity M&A and late-stage venture capital mandates within the TMT, fintech and real estate sectors. Co-headed by New York-qualified corporate partner Neil Torpey and Vivian Lam, who is particularly noted for her strong ties with Chinese investors, the team combines excellent knowledge of regional cultural norms with an international mindset, ensuring that clients are well-served in relation to multi-jurisdictional mandates, in particular.
China Media Capital
Ping An Group
Alpha Investment Partners
ARA Asset Management
Jaguar Partners Asia
Proprium Capital Partners
- Represented ARA Asset Management in its formation of a partnership with Straits Real Estate and ICBC International for the RMB2.42 billion (US$347 million) acquisition of Shanghai retail mall Sanlin InCity.
- Represented Jaguar Partners Asia and JHJ Logistics in the formation of a joint venture to acquire Brilliant Enterprise Management Consulting in Shanghai. In addition, the firm represented Jaguar Partners Asia in the formation of a new private equity fund dedicated to real estate opportunities in Asia.
- Represented Proprium Capital Partners and its co-investor in the formation of a $500m joint venture with China SCE Group Holdings Limited and FUNLIVE Holdings Limited to invest in high quality rental apartment projects in gateway cities in China.
Led by the 'flexible and efficient' Jay Tai, Proskauer Rose LLP's 'excellent' private equity practice provides 'efficient and practical' advice to global and regional funds across a broad spectrum of matters, from buyout, growth equity, PIPEs and debt financing to restructuring, exit strategies and secondaries.
Other key lawyers:
‘The excellent team provides efficient and practical advice.’
‘Jay Tai is flexible, efficient, and always ready and available to provide assistance to us even under extremely short notice and tight timeline.’
CCB International Asset Management Limited
Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund
Schroder Adveq Management AG
Lunar Capital Management
Country Garden Asset Management
Abax Global Capital
Haitong International Securities Group
Grand China Overseas Investment Management Co., Ltd
- The firm is representing Greater Bay Area Fund, a $12.8bn private equity fund, in its first private equity investment in a financial technology group based in Hong Kong and the PRC.
- The team represented Schroder Adveq on its two China secondary investment deals, respectively in the healthcare industry and retail industry.
- The team continues to represent CCB International Asset Management across a broad spectrum of investment transactions, both in equity and debt (including convertible and exchangeable bonds issued by private and public companies) with deal size ranging between $25m and $250m, and across industries including real estate, consumer, telecommunication, energy and health care.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Although it is better-known for public M&A work, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP also handles a not inconsiderable volume of private M&A, where it benefits from the ability to effectively advise on both the downstream investment work, as well as on any IPO-related exit. Aided by a strong presence in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as globally, the team regularly advises Chinese companies investing in the US and "going private", as well as acting for non-Chinese private equity sponsors investing in China. Corporate and capital markets expert Julie Gao is the principal contact for private-equity-related transactional work, for both targets and investors; she has a particularly strong track record on TMT-related mandates, including numerous take-private matters. The team also benefits from a fund formation offering which is headed up by Geoffrey Chan.
Other key lawyers:
SSG Capital Holdings Limited
Ocean Link Partners
- Advised 58.com Inc. in its $8.7bn going-private acquisition by a consortium of investors led by Quantum Bloom Group Ltd. and its subsidiary Quantum Bloom Company Ltd.
- Advised the special committee of the board of directors of Bitauto Holdings Limited (China) in its $1.1bn going-private acquisition by an investor consortium led by Morespark Limited (British Virgin Islands), an affiliate of Tencent Holdings Limited (China), and Hammer Capital Opportunities Fund L.P. (China)
- Advising SSG Capital Holdings, a leading Hong Kong asset management company, on its sale of a controlling stake to Ares Management, a leading alternative asset management company based in Los Angeles.
Based out of Hong Kong and able to leverage a significant international footprint, as well as an integrated PRC law platform, by dint of the firm's joint operation with FenXun, Baker McKenzie is a compelling proposition to private equity, pension, and sovereign wealth funds on local and multi-jurisdictional matters. Team head Dorothea Koo is the principal contact for the downstream investment work and handles a significant amount of real estate-related transactions, a sector where the firm also has a niche on the fund formation front.
APG Strategic Real Estate Pool (APG)
Gaw Capital Partners
Abu Dhabi Retirement Pensions & Benefits Fund
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
EQT Mid Market GP B.V.
Greystar Real Estate Partners
- Advised Stichting Depositary APG Strategic Real Estate Pool (APG) and SK Holdings Co., Ltd. (SK) as pre-IPO investors of, and APG also as a shareholder which has sold part of its stake in, ESR Cayman Limited (ESR) in its initial public offering (IPO) and listing on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
- Advised Gaw Capital Partners on the structuring, formation and successful closing of its sixth flagship Asia-Pacific real estate fund, Gateway Real Estate Fund VI (“Gateway Fund VI”), which raised $2.2bn, after obtaining approval to exceed its original hard cap of $2bn.
- Advised Gaw Capital Partners on a joint venture with Allianz Real Estate to acquire the DUO Tower and DUO Galleria, a premium grade-A office asset with ancillary retail in Singapore, for approximately SG$1.6bn.
Often working in a coordinated fashion with colleagues from the US, and/or mainland China, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's one-partner Hong Kong team is able to effectively service institutional firmwide clients, including Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, as well as regional funds, across a range of investments and exits. As well as its transactional capability, the office is also noted for its 'excellent fund formation' practice, providing it with a strong degree of cohesion throughout the lifecycle of a deal. Team head William Chua provides 'thorough and practical' advice and handles a significant amount of private equity work as part of his broad-ranging corporate practice.
Other key lawyers:
‘The firm has an excellent fund formation offering.’
‘William Chua provides thorough and practical advice.’
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice; Wilsonart International
Morgan Stanley Private Equity
Segantii Capital Management
Goldman Sachs Principal Investments Area
Credit Suisse Asset Management
- Representing Carlyle Group in its $5bn investment in, and the recapitalization (involving other private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds) of, American Express Global Business Travel.
- Represented Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and its portfolio company Wilsonart International, a global manufacturer and distributor of engineered composite materials, in the sale of Wilsonart’s Asia business to Aica Kogyo and the Development Bank of Japan.
- Advising existing strategic investors in connection with the buyout and restructuring of The WeWork Companies by SoftBank Corporation
As comfortable acting on the investor side as it is for the target company, the 'very responsive and commercial' team at DLA Piper has a balanced perspective of the anatomy of a deal and significant market penetration in M&A activity, throughout Greater China and beyond. The team is active throughout the private equity lifecycle, as was recently demonstrated by its work for China Ping An Insurance Overseas, on its $1.5bn exit from Singapore-based company Bigo (having previously advised the client on the fund raised to facilitate its investment in the company). 'Responsive, commercial, and diligent' team head Gloria Liu led on the aforementioned investment and exit for China Ping An, and has an excellent understanding of the Greater China private equity market.
‘The team provides very responsive and commercial advice.’
‘The quality of work is consistently very high, and just as importantly, pro-active and creative in providing solutions and anticipation of issues.’
‘Seamless integration across different offices in different countries. When being referred to other offices, the other offices are well briefed and are able to be productive immediately. The quality of work by other offices is usually very high and response time quick. Never need to worry about working outside of the office we usually deal with or need to shop around for counsel in unfamiliar jurisdictions.’
‘Gloria Liu is responsive, diligent, and commercial.’
China Ping An Insurance Overseas
Wise Road Capital
Valuestone Global Resources Fund
SINO-BLR Industrial Investment Fund
Ping An Global Voyager Fund
- Advised China Ping An Insurance Overseas, on its circa $1.5bn exit from its strategic investment in Bigo, a fast-growing live-stream company headquartered in Singapore.
- Advising Ping An Overseas Holdings on its private equity investment in global education service provider, Whittle School & Studios.
- Advised a consortium of investors led by Valuestone and a premier China based copper mining company to acquire a controlling stake in a Mexican copper slag project.
Herbert Smith Freehills
Herbert Smith Freehills handles a considerable amount of private equity-related M&A work for international and regional funds, as a function of the office's broader corporate offering. Leveraging its wider commercial litigation capabilities, the firm regularly advises on private equity-related disputes work, and also provides ongoing commercial advice to portfolio companies. Fluent Chinese speaking team head Tommy Tong is well-versed at handling China-related private equity work and excels at handling transactions within the financial services, life sciences, and tech spaces, in particular.
‘It is a solid well-rounded team with both traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese and English capabilities. If necessary, they are also able to draw upon other legal teams at other jurisdictions quickly to solve their client’s problems.’
‘The team is extremely professional, legally sound, commercial and their response time is outstanding.’
Adicon Holdings Limited
Shanghai Hanyu Medical Technology Co., Ltd.
Technology Crossover Fund
China Reform Venture Capital Investment Management
CITIC Private Equity Funds Management
China Resources Capital Management
China Merchants Union
SML Holdings Limited
- Advised Adicon Holdings Limited, an independent clinical laboratory (ICL) company based in China and a Carlyle Group portfolio company in relation to the establishment of an employee share option plan.
- Advised Shanghai Hanyu Medical Technology Co., Ltd., a CPE portfolio company on its R&D cooperation with institutions in Europe, US and Japan
- Advised CITIC PE on its proposed investment in a major player in China in the valvular heart diseases treatment field
King & Wood Mallesons
Assisted by practitioners on the ground in mainland China, as well as more broadly throughout Asia Pacific, King & Wood Mallesons' Hong Kong-based team has deeply entrenched ties with many Greater China-focused private equity firms, venture capital investors, and sovereign wealth funds, which it advises on inbound and outbound mandates, particularly in the TMT, energy and real estate sectors. Helena Huang is the principal contact for private equity-related work and handles both fund formation and downstream investment work.
LCLC3 Management Co Pte Ltd (LOGOS)
Shui On Land Limited
China Taiping Insurance Holdings Company Limited
Dadi International Holdings Co., Ltd.
C&D International Investment Group Limited
Xinte Energy Co., Ltd.
- Advised LOGOS on the completion of its first close to establish a new logistics development venture in China with Ivanhoé Cambridge, Bouwinvest and a GCC-based (Gulf Cooperation Council) investor.
- Acting for Shui On in the second closing of Shui On Land Core-Plus Office Venture, a $1bn joint venture platform, between Shui On, Manulife, China Life and a European institutional investor to acquire high quality office projects, initially in Shanghai with potential to expand to other Tier 1 cities in China.
- Advised the Dadi International Holdings on the HK $90.42m acquisition of 508 million shares in the target company from Joy Grand Investment Limited, representing approximately 14.25% of the issued share capital of the target company.
Reed Smith Richards Butler
Forming an integral component of its Greater China private equity offering (which also includes input from the firm's Beijing and Shanghai offices), Reed Smith Richards Butler's well-established Hong Kong corporate practice remains well-positioned to handle a significant volume and range of work for local and international funds, as well as for corporates, as targets of private equity investments. Denise Jong has substantial corporate and securities experience in the local market, which she leverages to good effect for start-ups seeking investment, private equity firms on their M&A activity, and on subsequent IPOs.