AZB & Partners has advised Bharti Airtel and Telesonic Networks on the acquisition by Telesonic Networks of the optical fiber cable business of Bharti Airtel. Partners Ajay Bahl, Gautam Saha, Kamal Shankar, Abhinav Ashwin and Bharat Apte led the firm’s team in the transaction, which was completed on August 3, 2019.

AZB & Partners has also advised Housing Development Finance Corporation, the promoter of Gruh Finance, on the merger, through a scheme of amalgamation, of Gruh Finance with Bandhan Bank. Partners Zia Mody, Ashwath Rau, Anu Tiwari and Vipul Jain led the firm’s team in the transaction, which was valued at Rs208 billion (US$2.9b) and was completed on October 17, 2019.

Baker McKenzie recently advised Stichting Depositary APG Strategic Real Estate Pool and SK Holdings (SK) as pre-IPO investors of, and APG also as a shareholder which has sold part of its stake in, ESR Cayman (ESR) in its initial public offering and listing on the main board of the Hong Kong stock exchange. ESR has the largest APAC-focused logistics real estate platform and its IPO is said to be Hong Kong’s second largest this year so far. The shares of ESR commenced trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on November 1, 2019. APG is a Dutch foundation acting in its capacity as depository of APG Strategic Real Estate Pool, which is formed with APG Asset Management as its manager for the purpose of collective investments by its participants, all being Dutch pension funds. SK is a public listed company, whose shares are listed on the Korea Stock Exchange. SK and its subsidiaries are engaged in the business of energy, telecommunications and semi-conductors. The Baker McKenzie team was led by partner Ivy Wong, who heads the firm’s Asia Pacific capital markets practice, in collaboration with partner Jason Ng and his team in the financial services group.

Clifford Chance has advised the official receiver and special managers of British Steel on the sale of the business and assets to Jingye Steel and Iron, a privately owned enterprise from Hebei province in China. The deal, signed on November 10, 2019, prevents a costly shutdown of operations and the potential loss of 24,000 jobs at the steel works and in the supply chain. The complex transaction required a multi-disciplinary, international team comprising partners and associates across a number of practice areas including restructuring, corporate, employment, real estate (including our environmental specialists), finance, pensions, IP, TMT and tax as well as lawyers in Amsterdam, Beijing, Hong Kong and Paris. The Clifford Chance team was led by London partners Philip Hertz, David Lewis, Nick Rees and Iain White, with Paris partner Laurent Schoenstein and Amsterdam partner Greg Crookes leading respectively on the sale of British Steel France Rail Holdings and the sale of FN Steel. In Beijing and Hong Kong, partners Hong Zhang and Richard Blewett helped advise on this transaction.

Herbert Smith Freehills and Paul Hastings have advised on the IPO of SinoMab BioScience on the main board of the Hong Kong stock exchange. The IPO raised approximately HK$1.29 billion (US$165m). China International Capital Corporation Hong Kong Securities and Orient Capital (Hong Kong) were the joint sponsors of the listing. SinoMab BioScience is a Hong Kong-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the research, development, manufacturing and commercialisation of therapeutics for the treatment of immunological diseases. The company listed under Chapter 18A of the Hong Kong listing rules. The HSF team advising the joint sponsors was led by partner Jason Sung with additional support provided by Singapore partner Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan. Paul Hastings advised the company, led by corporate partners and co-heads of the firm’s mainland China offices Jia Yan and David Wang, with support from Hong Kong corporate partners Samuel Ng and Jason Kuo.

King & Wood Mallesons acted as Hong Kong counsel to Ruicheng (China) Media Group on its initial public offering on the main board of the Hong Kong stock exchange. It was listed on November 12, 2019. The IPO was priced at HK$1.25 per share and comprised a total of 100,000,000 shares. Ruicheng China is an established advertising service provider in the PRC that primarily engages in television advertising services. Its service offerings span from television advertising, online and outdoor advertising services to other advertising services which include data analysis, marketing strategy planning, advertising solution formulation, sourcing of advertising resources, overall coordination and/or execution, and evaluation of the effectiveness of advertisements. The KWM team was led by partner Anthony Wan.

Maples & Calder has acted as BVI counsel to Shandong Iron and Steel Xinheng International Company on its issue of US$500 million 6.85 percent guaranteed bonds due 2022, which closed on September 25, 2019. The bonds are listed in Hong Kong and guaranteed by Shandong Iron & Steel Group, a major steel company based in Jinan, China. Partner Lorraine Pao led the firm’s team in the transaction, while Deacons acted as Hong Kong and English counsel. Linklaters acted as Hong Kong and English counsel to the joint lead managers and the trustee.

Maples & Calder has also acted as Cayman Islands counsel to XForcePlus on a US$100 million series C round funding, led by Singapore state-owned investment firm Temasek Holdings, followed by Hillhouse Capital Group and SaaS-investment-focused Eastern Bell Capital Ventures. Shanghai XForcePlus Information Technology, known as XForcePlus, focuses on the development and application of industry solutions in the field of enterprise SaaS. The company’s core products include cloud and software services. Partner Everton Robertson led the firm’s team in the transaction, which closed in September 2019.

Orrick has advised China Reform Fund on its investment in the Series D financing of Akeso Biopharma. Founded in 2012, Akeso is one of the leading innovative biotech companies in China. This round of financing was co-led by Loyal Valley Capital and Sino Biopharm, with investors including China Reform Fund, Shenzhen Venture Capital Group, Lake Bleu Healthcare Fund, AIHC Capital, Orbimed, K Wah Group, CCB Capital, Apricot Capital, Triwise Capital and BOCOM International. The total amount raised in this round was approximately US$150 million, which will be used to develop new drugs and further clinical research. Headquartered in Beijing, China Reform Fund is a leading private equity fund management company, primarily investing in medical devices, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, advanced equipment, information technology and application services. Beijing partner Jinsong Zhang led the firm’s team in the transaction.

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing has advised Singapore-listed food and beverage (F&B) company BreadTalk Group on its S$87 million (US$63.7m) acquisition, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Topwin Investment Holdings, of Food Junction Management (FJM). FJM and its wholly-owned subsidiaries operate a network of 12 food courts in Singapore and three in Malaysia. Founded in Singapore in 2000 and listed in 2003, BreadTalk is an award-winning F&B group that operates food courts under the Food Republic and Food Opera brands in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Cambodia and Thailand. Partners Ch’ng Li-Ling, Yang Eu Jin and Rizwi Wun led the firm’s team in the transaction, which was completed on October 31, 2019.

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing has also advised Telenav, a leading provider of location-based platform services, on the acquisition by Grab, a Singapore-based technology company offering ride-hailing transport services, of the technology underlying the OpenTerra platform, with a licence back of the platform to Telenav for the continued development of the platform. Jonathan Kok, head of intellectual property and technology practice and co-head of technology, media and communications industry group, led the firm’s team in the transaction.

SSEK Legal Consultants has advised Ovolo Group, an award-winning luxury boutique hotel brand headquartered in Hong Kong, on the acquisition of a resort hotel in Bali. Ovolo acquired Citadines Kuta Beach Bali, an upmarket serviced apartment/hotel development near the popular tourist areas of Seminyak and Legian. This is the group’s first property outside of Hong Kong and Australia, as Ovolo eyes global expansion. Managing partner and supervising partner of the land and property practice Denny Rahmansyah led the firm’s team in the transaction.

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