Milbank > Hong Kong, Hong Kong > Firm Profile

Milbank
30/F ALEXANDRA HOUSE, 18 CHATER ROAD
CENTRAL
HONG KONG
Hong Kong

Hong Kong > Capital markets (debt) Tier 2

Leveraging the firm’s impressive institutional ties with many leading international investment banks, including UBS and Morgan Stanley, and also developing a growing roster of company-side mandates – particularly throughout Southeast Asia, Milbank provides a ‘commercial‘ service to underwriters and issuers across a range of debt capital market products. The arrival of the ‘very accessible’ Alex Tao from Allen & Overy in June 2020 strengthens the firm’s presence in the China market, as a result of his expertise in advising on New York law-governed high yield issuances for Chinese companies. Paul Pery has been pivotal to the firm’s success in Southeast Asia, particularly in relation to high-value transactions involving Philippines issuers. Team head James Grandolfo has vast experience across a range of Asian markets, including the Philippines and India.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The team displays a professional and rigorous attitude.’

Despite them acting on the issuer side, they remain close to market and are able to provide advice that is commercial but without sacrificing the issuer’s interest.’

Alex Tao is very accessible, provides very strong leadership and has extremely close relationship with issuers.’

Key clients

Morgan Stanley

UBS

Deutsche Bank

Barclays

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

BPI Capital

CLSA

Credit Suisse

Citigroup

Mizuho Securities

SMBC Nikko

Greenland Global Investment Limited

Standard Chartered Bank

BNP Paribas Securities (Asia) Limited

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

DBS

First Metro Investment Corporation

MUFG Securities

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation

China Vanke

JSW Hydro Energy Limited

Globe Telecom Inc.

Development Bank of the Philippines

Country Garden Holdings Company

Star Energy Geothermal Darajat II Limited and Star Energy Geothermal Salak Ltd.

Manila Water Company, Inc.

San Miguel Corporation

Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company

Shimao Group Holdings Limited.

Times China Holdings

Glory Land

Hongqiao Group Holdings Limited

Limak İskenderun Uluslararası Liman İşletmeciliği A.Ş.

Work highlights

  • Advised Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation as issuer in connection with its Regulation S issuance of $300m 6.50% non-cumulative subordinated Additional Tier 1 capital securities.
  • Advised Limak İskenderun Uluslararası Liman İşletmeciliği A.Ş. in connection with its inaugural Rule 144A/Reg S project bond maturing in 2036, which was one of the first-ever project bonds issued out of Turkey.
  • Advised the underwriters in relation to Country Garden Holdings’ debut $1bn bond issuance following the issuer’s upgrade from high yield to the investment grade category.

Hong Kong > Banking and finance Tier 3

In a significant coup for the firm, Milbank recently hired Davide Mencacci and John Bona from Linklaters. Menacci now heads the team, which has significantly strengthened its leveraged and acquisition finance, and he brings over 20 years’ experience to the role. The equally experienced Bona counts banks, funds and private equity sponsors among his clientele and handles deals in Asia and in Europe.  Other areas of focus for the practice include take-private transactions, infrastructure-related financing, real estate financing and cross-border restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘They have a team of globally seasoned and professional legal veterans that offer a solid perspective on complex cross-border issues’.

‘Davide Mencacci is the well-deserving star of the practice in the banking and finance sphere’.

‘Milbank provided us a very strong and experienced team with very senior partners involved closely in the deal, which is not a very common approach’.

‘They are excellent at managing negotiations with the counterparty and very commercial in their approach’.

‘Davide Mencacci and John Bona were the partners on our deal and they had very hands-on involvement’.

‘I really appreciated their focus and close involvement in the transaction, and the client-friendly approach’.

‘They have a team of globally seasoned and professional legal veterans that offer a solid perspective on complex cross-border issues’.

Key clients

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Bank of East Asia

MUFG Bank

ING Barclays

Crédit Agricole

CIB

HSBC

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Deutsche Bank

Hayfin Capital Management

JPMorgan Securities Inc

United Overseas Bank Limited

ANZ

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bank of China

BNP Paribas

Cathay United Bank

China Construction Bank

China Development Bank

Citi Credit Suisse

CTBC Bank

Huatong Huatai

Morgan Stanley

Natixis

Nomura

Oaktree

Standard Chartered

Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank

Taishin International Bank

UBS

Work highlights

  • Acting for HSBC and other lenders in relation to the refinance and recapitalisation of facilities for business services provider Tricor, which is owned by global private equity firm Permira Advisers.
  • Acting for the underwriters in relation to Hillhouse Capital Group’s successful bid for Royal Philips NV’s home appliance unit, in a deal worth approximately $4bn.

Hong Kong > Projects and energy Tier 3

With a presence across Greater China and in key other regional locations, including Singapore, and also able to draw upon financing expertise from lawyers across its US and London offices, Milbank’ s ‘hardworking’ team is a popular choice among a balanced roster of lenders and sponsors/developers across an array of conventional and renewable energy projects. Hong Kong and US-qualified of counsel Desiree Woo is the main contact from Hong Kong and is particularly noted for her work acting for Chinese clients engaged in projects throughout Southeast Asia.

Practice head(s):

Shepard Liu (Beijing)

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Legal opinions and advice are thoroughly presented, with ample recommendations of benefit to the client.’

The team is hardworking and easily reachable. They are especially reliable for matters of urgency that need their legal opinion or advice.’

Key clients

GNPower Kauswagan

GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co.

AC Energy

Aboitiz Power

Power Partners

Shandong Electric Power 3 (SEPCOIII)

HTG Development Group

S. Alam Group

Work highlights

  • Continues to advise GNPower Kauswagan on the EPC and other project development matters linked to the construction and development of the $1.2bn GNPower Kauswagan project.
  • Advising the project company GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co. and the sponsors, in relation to the development, financing and construction of a $1.7bn supercritical coal-fired power plant project in Bataan Provincein the Philippines.
  • Assisting the sponsors and the project company of the 2x612MW super critical coal-fired power project in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Hong Kong > Capital markets (equity) Tier 4

Although lacking visibility in the domestic market, Milbank ‘s Hong Kong team, under the leadership of the vastly experienced James Grandolfo and aided by Paul Pery, has developed a particularly strong reputation advising issuers and underwriters on Philippines-related equity capital markets transactions. The arrival of Alex Tao from Allen & Overy in June 2020 enhances the firm’s capabilities in advising Chinese corporates on their US listings.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

BofA Securities

Morgan Stanley

Asia United Bank

Deutsche Bank

China Bank Capital

HSBC

BPI Capital

CLSA

Credit Suisse

BDO Capital

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Nomura Singapore Limited

CIMB Investment Bank Bhd,

Macquarie Capital Securities (Singapore) Pte Limited,

Maybank Kim Eng Securities Pte. Ltd.,

PNB Capital and Investment Corporation,

Standard Chartered Bank

BNP Paribas Securities (Asia) Limited

Investment & Capital Corporation of the Philippines,

RCBC Capital Corporation

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

DDMP REIT, Inc

Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions, Inc.

Monde Nissin Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised UBS, Citi, Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan as joint global coordinators in connection with the Rule 144A/Reg S initial public offering of Monde Nissin Corporation on the Philippine Stock Exchange.
  • Advised the international bookrunners and the domestic underwriters in connection with the ₱14.7bn IPO by DDMP REIT, Inc., a subsidiary of Philippine real estate development company, DoubleDragon Properties Corp.
  • Advised the underwriters and selling agents in connection with the $600m IPO of Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions, Inc.

Hong Kong > Private equity Tier 4

In a coup for the firm, the start of 2021 saw Milbank recruit both Andrew Whan and Neeraj Budhwani from the well-respected Clifford Chance practice. Whan and Budhwani have solid track record of advising on market-leading transactions and have significant experience in advising global leading sponsors. Whan is recommended for private and public M&A transactions, and Budhwani is experienced in LBOs, acquisitions, disposals and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

CVC Capital Partners

Affinity Equity Partners

Permira MBK Partners

Advantage Partners

Platinum Equity

The Carlyle Group

Goldman Sachs

Work highlights

  • Advised CVC Capital Partners on the privatisation of Hong Kong-listed fashion retailer I.T. Limited, by way of a scheme of arrangement and subsequent restructure of I.T. Limited into standalone other operation and brand operation businesses.
  • Advised CVC Capital Partners on its $700m leveraged buyout of Irrawaddy Green Towers (IGT).
  • Advised Asia Financial Services Limited (an entity controlled by CVC Capital Partners) on the disposal of its entire stake (c.9%) in Hong Kong-listed Sun Hung Kai & Co to AP Emerald Limited and listed notes in Sun Hung Kai & Co.

Hong Kong > Corporate (including M&A)

Milbank was bolstered by the arrival of two partners from Clifford Chance in early 2021, Andrew Whan  and Neeraj Budhwani. James Grandolfo leads the department which handles cross-border transactions across the Southeast Asia region from both sell-side and buy-side perspectives.

Philippines > Foreign firms Tier 1

Milbank’s Philippines practice has a long-standing reputation as a leader in cross-border capital markets, M&A, and project financing transactions, using its ‘vast expertise’ to advise on several landmark deals. In a major highlight, the firm advised global coordinators on the initial public offering of Monde Nissan Corporation, the country’s largest IPO to date. Practice head, James Grandolfo has over 20 years of experience advising on M&A transactions in major jurisdictions in Asia. Desiree Woo is highlighted for her ‘experience in EPC contracts and project finance’. With expertise in project finance, James Murray is a go-to individual for the financing of power, oil and gas, mining, telecoms, and other infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Their lawyers have a great deal of experience in Asia for capital markets, project finance and debt work.’

‘Desiree Woo has vast experience in EPC contracts and project finance and is very responsive to all our needs.’

‘Milbank has been our engaged counsel for more than a decade. Mibank has comprehensive and in-depth knowledge and understanding of our companies’ businesses as they have been involved since the inception of our power projects. We are treated by Milbank as a valuable client at all times. Each legal matter referred to them was handled with utmost care and professionalism. We highly recommend this firm.’

‘Everyone at Milbank is professional, very insightful and kind especially Desiree Woo and Cesarea Singzon. We appreciate that they are very reliable, prompt and open for quick calls and updates/discussions. The rapport and guidance were outstanding at all times. They diligently worked through all of our legal questions and have provided us with sound, clear and practical legal advice on various issues.’

Key clients

BPI Capital

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Citi

Credit Suisse

CLSA

Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions

HSBC

J.P. Morgan

Metro Pacific Investments Corporation

UBS

Fast Logistics Corporation

Micro-D International

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation

Globe Telecom

DDMP REIT

GNPower Kauswagan

GNPower Dinginin

Aboitiz Power

Power Partners

Asian Development Bank

Ayala’s AC Energy

DBS Bank Ltd.

Monde Nissin Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised UBS, Citi, Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan as joint global coordinators on the Rule 144A/Reg S initial public offering of Monde Nissin Corporation on the Philippine Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation as issuer on its Regulation S issuance of $300m 6.50% non-cumulative subordinated Additional Tier 1 capital securities.
  • Advised Micro-D International and Novare Technologies on a minority/majority stake sale in both businesses, through an auction process.

Mongolia > Leading firms Tier 3

Operating out of offices in Hong Kong and Washington DC, the Milbank team provides advice on matters for the Mongolian government, including in dispute resolution, project finance, and investigations.

China > Projects and energy: foreign firms

Led from Beijing by Shepard Liu and closely integrated with lawyers based in Hong Kong, as well as throughout the firm’s broader network of international offices, Milbank provides a ‘professional and responsive’ service to a range of local and international stakeholders on China-facing cross-border mandates. Liu has ‘commercial knowledge of the industry’, ensuring that he is a popular choice for lenders, including ECAs, on cross-border project financing mandates relating to a broad swathe of conventional energy, renewables and infrastructure projects. Hong Kong-based counsel Desiree Woo has a particularly strong reputation advising Chinese entities on the development and financing of energy projects in Southeast Asia, including recent work on numerous coal-fired power plants in the Philippines.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

The team provides a professional and responsive service.’

Shepard Liu has commercial knowledge of the industry.’

Shepard Liu is a great expert in global projects and project financing. He is also very familiar with the Chinese banks’ internal requirements and commercial needs. He has an amazing ability to solve difficult commercial and legal issues‘.

Key clients

The Export-Import Bank of China (CEXIM)

GNPower Ltd

China Development Bank

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Udenna Corporation

Citic Construction

AC Energy

Aboitiz Power

Power Partners

Shandong Electric Power 3 (SEPCOIII)

HTG Group

S. Alam Group

Jinko Power

BOC

TBEA

Work highlights

  • Advised the Export-Import Bank of China on the financing provided to the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Guinea for the development of the 450MW Souapiti Hydropower Plant and the restructuring of the Kaleta Hydropower Plant, totalling $2.3bn.
  • Acting for two Chinese state-owned policy banks in a large-scale infrastructure project, in the complex project financing of the $4.74bn Quebrada Blanca (QB) 2 Copper Project in northern Chile.
  • Continuing to advise GNPower Kauswagan on the EPC and other project development matters linked to the construction and development of the $1.2bn GNPower Kauswagan project.

India > Foreign firms

Milbank is in demand by major financial institutions, banks, ECAs and corporations in respect of substantial projects in the energy, telecoms, and infrastructure sectors. It counts major Asian and international banks among its clients in these areas as well as corporates such as Delhi International Airport. On the capital markets front, it is especially strong on debt matters; James Grandolfo (Hong Kong), who is US-qualified, is well known for his skills in respect of US issuances and project bond matters; equally well known is John Dewar in London who handles high-value, India-related project financings working with the gamut of banks and financial institutions and private equity houses, especially in the infrastructure and energy arenas. The practice has expanded considerably with the hires of transactional and finance specialists Andrew Whan and Neeraj Budhwani from Clifford Chance, and Davide Mencacci and John Bona from Linklaters – all based in Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-sure)

Export-Import Bank of Korea (K-Exim)

HSBC Bank plc

SACE S.p.A.

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

KfW IPEX-Bank

Deutsche Bank

Delhi International Airport Limited

International Columbia US, LLC

Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

The Hongkong And Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited

JSW Hydro Energy Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the ECAs and commercial banks on nearly every one of Reliance Industries’ external borrowings in relation to Reliance Industries’ reorganisation of its oil-to-chemicals business into a special purpose vehicle, which is one of the biggest-ever reorganisations in India’s history.
  • Advised Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, Société Générale and Standard Chartered Bank as lead managers in connection with a 144A/Reg S project bond to be issued by JSW Hydro Energy Limited (“JSW HEL”).
  • Advised Delhi International Airport Limited (“DIAL”) in connection with its issuance of Rupee denominated non-convertible debentures (“NCDs”) to Cliffton Limited.

Vietnam > Foreign desks

Milbank has a strong track record in high-profile and landmark corporate deals in Vietnam, and it is also seen as a first port of call for advice on major projects, as well as finance transactions. It has been active in the market for more than three decades. The firm particularly stands out for its work in the aviation sector, as is reflected by the fact that it acts for aircraft and engine manufacturers, financiers and jet fuel suppliers, among other clients. VietJet is one of its key clients. Jacqueline Chan and aviation specialist Paul Ng are the names to note in Singapore. New York-qualified partner James Grandolfo, who leads the Hong Kong office, is another key practitioner.

Testimonials

‘The team is very dedicated and understands very well clients’ needs.’

‘Partner Jacqueline Chan is very experienced and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Masan Group Corporation

Emergent Capital Partners

VietJet

Work highlights

  • Advised Masan Group Corporation on the sale of a minority stake in its consumer retail arm and food supply chain, VCM Services and Trading, to SK Group.  
  • Advised Emergent Capital Partners on the formation and management of a logistics-related investment vehicle in Vietnam with Goldman Sachs.
  • Advised Masan Group Corporation on the sale of a combined 5.5% stake in its integrated consumer retail arm, The CrownX.