Allen & Gledhill has advised Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, as arranger, and DBS Bank and United Overseas Bank, as dealers, on the establishment of a S$1 billion (US$741m) multicurrency medium term note program and issue of US$650 million sustainability-linked notes by Nanyang Technological University (NTU). The notes were issued under NTU’s sustainability-linked bond framework, which was prepared in line with the Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles 2020 by the International Capital Market Association. Partners Margaret Chin and Sunit Chhabra led the firm’s team in the transaction.
Allen & Gledhill has also advised Mapletree Logistics Trust Management, as manager of Mapletree Logistics Trust, on the issue of S$400 million (US$296.4m) 3.725 percent fixed rate perpetual securities, under its S$3 billion (US$2.22b) euro medium term securities program. Partner Glenn Foo led the firm’s team in the transaction.
Allen & Overy has advised the joint lead managers and joint book-runners, namely Bank of China, Bank of Communications, China Construction Bank, China International Capital Corporation, ICBC, BofA Securities, Citigroup, Crédit Agricole CIB, CTBC Bank, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Mizuho Securities and Standard Chartered Bank, on the multi-tranche Reg S and Rule 144A offering of US$4 billion sovereign bonds by China’s Ministry of Finance. The issuance comprises four tranches: 1) US$1 billion three-year bonds; 2) US$1.5 billion five-year bonds; 3) US$1 billion ten-year bonds; and, 4) US$500 million 30-year bonds. This is another significant issuance by the Ministry of Finance, and its second Reg S and Rule 144A US dollar offering. The firm also advised on the country’s first US dollar bond offering open to US investors in October 2020. Partners Agnes Tsang, Jaclyn Yeap and Alex Stathopoulos led the firm’s team in the transaction.
Allen & Overy has also advised the joint lead managers and joint book-runners on Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s (ICBC) multi-branch issuance of green bonds. The bonds are listed across Hong Kong, Singapore, Luxembourg, London and Macao. Issued under ICBC’s US$20 billion medium term note program, the four-currency, five-tranche transaction comprised: 1) US$1 billion 1.625 percent bonds due 2026 by ICBC Hong Kong Branch; 2) US$1.05 billion one percent bonds due 2024 by ICBC Singapore Branch; 3) €500 million (US$579m) 0.125 percent bonds due 2024 by ICBC Luxembourg Branch; 4) £250 million (US$340m) 1.625 percent bond due 2025 by ICBC London Branch; and, 5) Pt2 billion (US$249.5m) 0.60 percent bond due 2023 by ICBC Macau Branch. The proceeds will be used to finance and/or refinance eligible green assets, which promote environmental protection, sustainable economic development, and combating climate change in the eligible green asset categories, as defined in the ICBC Green Bond Framework. Partners Agnes Tsang and Aloysius Tan led the firm’s team in the transaction.
Ashurst has advised UBS Australia Branch and Merrill Lynch Equities (Australia), as the joint lead managers, on the issuance of A$400 million (US$297m) 1.625 percent senior unsecured convertible notes by Australia-listed Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT). The notes are convertible into FLT ordinary shares, and have a final maturity date of November 1, 2028. Certain shareholders entered into stock borrowing and lending arrangements with an affiliate of UBS Securities Australia, up to an aggregate maximum amount of 20 million FLT shares. Concurrently with the convertible notes issuance, a delta placement of approximately 3.5 million ordinary shares has been executed. The firm also advised the clients on FLT’s convertible bond offering in November 2020. FLT is one of the world’s largest travel groups, with a vast leisure and corporate travel sales network that extends throughout Australia and New Zealand, the Americas, EMEA and Asia. Hong Kong partner Jini Lee, supported by Sydney partners Jamie Ng (global markets), Caroline Smart (global markets), Greg Golding (corporate), Ross Zaurrini (competition) and Vivian Chang (tax), led the firm’s team in the transaction.
AZB & Partners has advised TA Associates, through its affiliate Wagner, on the sale of its more than 30 percent equity stake in Ideal Cures to Berwind, through its affiliate entities BPSI Holdings and Colorcon Netherlands. Partners Darshika Kothari and Vasudha Asher led the firm’s team in the transaction, which was completed on October 13, 2021.
AZB & Partners has also advised WestBridge India on its acquisition, along with other investors, of equity stake in VnF Ideas, operator of a direct-to-consumer brand in the fresh vegetables and fruits category via offline mode, online mode and mobile application named Fraazo. Partners Gautam Saha and Amrita Patnaik led the firm’s team in the transaction, which was valued at Rs3.8 billion (US$51m) and was completed on October 8, 2021.
Baker & McKenzie has advised Pacifico Energy, one of Japan’s largest renewable energy developers, on an agreement with SSE Renewables, one of the world’s largest offshore wind energy developers, on the formation of a jointly owned company that will pursue offshore wind energy development projects in Japan. The creation of this jointly owned company, SSE Pacifico, involved the US$208 million acquisition by SSE Renewables of an 80 percent interest in an offshore wind development platform from Pacifico Energy and its affiliates. The acquisition was completed and became effective on October 29, 2021. The Japanese government has set a target of installing 30-45 GW of offshore wind power by 2040, as part of its plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. SSE Pacifico will collaborate fully and openly with local communities and authorities to provide best-in-class integration of offshore wind farms with local environments. Tokyo partners Gavin Raftery and Kiyoshi Endo led the firm’s team in the transaction.
Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow has advised Cargill on its acquisition of Aalst Chocolate, which will significantly expand Cargill’s Asia-Pacific footprint and also its cocoa and chocolate offerings. Upon completion of the transaction, all Aalst assets, including its state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Singapore, R&D capabilities in Singapore and Shanghai, and its over 200 employees across the region, will join Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate Asia-Pacific operations. Cargill is a multinational company which provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products. Aalst Chocolate is the first Singaporean-owned chocolate manufacturer. Its customer base spans across more than 50 countries, exporting to industrial, retail and foodservice clients in key global markets. Managing principal and co-head of M&A practice group Andrew Martin led the firm’s team in the transaction.
Clifford Chance has advised the joint lead managers on the international aspects of Woolworths Group’s €550 million (US$638m) 0.375 percent sustainability-linked fixed rate notes due 2028, A$350 million (US$262m) 1.85 percent sustainability-linked fixed rate notes due 2027, and A$350 million (US$262m) 2.75 percent sustainability-linked fixed rate notes due 2031, under its medium term note programme. The notes are structured with a direct link to Woolworths’ sustainability goals to reduce carbon emissions. The joint lead managers included Citigroup, BNP Paribas, HSBC, MUFG, SMBC Nikko, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking. Partner Mark Chan led the firm’s team in the transaction.
JSA has advised B Capital on its US$50 million Series B investment in EpiFi Technologies, a neo-banking start-up that provides a unique and new consumer banking experience through its mobile application ‘Fi Money’. Post the fund raise, Epifi will be valued more than US$300 million. Fi Money is an app which allows users to open a bank account on the app directly, and manage their expenditures and monies better. One of its unique features is tracking and moderating users’ expenses on e-commerce apps. At the backend, Epifi has partnered with Federal Bank for opening of bank accounts. Partner Manvinder Singh led the firm’s team in the transaction.
JSA has also advised B Capital and Tribe Capital on their US$90 million primary investment in Kyte Technologies, which develops and operates, through its Indian subsidiaries ADJ Utility Apps and SiliconVeins, the KhataBook mobile application. The app helps merchants with simple, reliable and efficient means of ledger maintenance. The investment also saw participation from other marquee investors. Kyte raised approximately US$90 million in the primary round. Partner Manvinder Singh also led the firm’s team in the transaction.
Khaitan & Co has advised Softbank Vision Fund on its US$450 million Series F investment in Global Car Group, the holding company of the ‘Cars24’ group. Partners Bharat Anand and Nidhi Killawala, supported by partners Sagardeep Rathi and Pranjal Prateek, led the firm’s team in the transaction, while Cooley SG advised on Singapore law.
Khaitan & Co has also advised RPSG Ventures and RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group on the successful bid for a new Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise. The IPL is one of the biggest brands in India, and an IPL franchise is a highly coveted asset for business groups in India and across the world. Two new cricket team franchises were being offered through a tender process conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). At the bidding process conducted by the BCCI in Dubai, RPSG Ventures was declared as one of the successful bidders. The new franchisee at Lucknow Stadium will be owned and operated, through a newly incorporated company, by RPSG Ventures, along with private/unlisted companies of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group. Gross payment for the new franchise is Rs70.9 billion (US$950m), payable over ten years. With a US$6 billion asset base and US$4 billion revenue, the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group is one of India’s fastest growing conglomerates with a significant global presence. Its businesses include power and energy, carbon black manufacturing, retail and consumer, IT-enabled services, media and entertainment, sports and agriculture. Senior partner Haigreve Khaitan and partners Ashish Razdan and Ashraya Rao led the firm’s team in the transaction, which was announced on October 25, 2021.
K&L Gates has advised China-headquartered growth capital private equity fund Lingfeng Capital on the recent Series A funding round of LeapXpert, a Hong Kong-based communications and messaging platform provider. Lingfeng Capital led the investment with Summer Capital, with four other international investors also participating. The current round brings the total funds raised by LeapXpert to US$14.1 million since its inception in 2017. Founded in 2015, Lingfeng Capital manages both US$ and Rmb funds. It invests in innovative fintech and technology companies in the Greater China region, and provides strategic advice to portfolio companies looking to enhance their business models, integrate resources and increase enterprise value. LeapXpert assists enterprises in integrating consumer messaging applications into their business-critical systems and processes via a centralized platform, enabling these enterprises to have real-time visibility of conversations over all messaging channels. Hong Kong corporate partner William Ho led the firm’s team in the transaction.
L&L Partners has acted for Dr Lal Path Labs (LPL) on the acquisition of 100 percent of the equity share capital of Suburban Diagnostics (India) (SDI). LPL is a provider of diagnostic and related healthcare tests and services in India, while SDI is a leading player in the diagnostics business in Western India. The deal was valued at Rs9.25 billion (US$124m), plus certain performance linked payments capped at Rs2.25 billion (US$30m), subject to certain adjustments. The deal was structured as an auction, which attracted a lot of interest from strategic and financial investors. LPL emerged as the highest initial bidder, and successfully entered into an exclusivity arrangement with SDI. LPL hopes to leverage on SDI’s strong consumer and medical brand recognition, wide network and professional management team to further accelerate its growth. Senior partner HS ‘Bobby’ Chandhoke and partners Shonali Choudhry and Jay Parikh, supported by partners Abdullah Hussain and Rudresh Singh and partner designate Subhash Bhutoria, led the firm’s team in the transaction.
Rajah & Tann Singapore (R&TS) and Christopher & Lee Ong (C&LO) are advising Esteel Enterprise on its US$122 million acquisition of Antara Steel Mills from Malaysia-listed Lion Industries. R&TS partners Danny Lim and Cynthia Wu and C&LO partner Yon See Ting are leading their respective firm’s team in the transaction.
Rajah & Tann Singapore is also acting for United Overseas Bank and UOB Kay Hian, as the joint book-runners and underwriters, on the private placement of new units in United Hampshire US Real Estate Investment Trust to raise gross proceeds of approximately US$35 million. Partner Raymond Tong is leading the firm’s team in the transaction.
WongPartnership has acted for Go Ventures as lead investor on the US$4.8 million funding round of Vara. Partner Kyle Lee led the firm’s team in the transaction, together with partner Kylie Peh.
WongPartnership has also acted for a global investment company on the US$20 million extended seed funding round of Next Gen Foods. Partner Kyle Lee led the firm’s team in the transaction, together with partners Kylie Peh and Chan Jia Hui.
Zul Rafique & Partners has represented Maxis Mobile Services before the Court of Appeals (CA) on an unfair dismissal claim originating from the Industrial Court (IC). The case concerns the dismissal of an employee for exiting the WhatsApp Groups at work without her superior’s approval, and her failure to submit the daily sales reports on seven occasions. The IC found that the dismissal was with just cause. The respondent applied for judicial review to quash the decision. The High Court overturned the IC’s decision, and ordered the case to be remitted to the IC to be heard anew by another chairman. Maxis appealed the decision. The CA ruled that the IC’s findings were not plainly wrong, and that there were no valid grounds for the High Court to interfere with those findings. As such, the IC award was reinstated, and the respondent was deemed to have been dismissed with just cause. Employment and industrial relations partners Wong Keat Ching and Teoh Alvare led the firm’s team representing the client.