AZB & Partners has advised Internet Fund II, a fund managed by Tiger Global Management, on its Rs2.28 billion (US$27.6m) acquisition, along with other investors, of equity stake via Series C funding round in Solvy Tech Solutions, a provider of insurance solutions through its insurance infrastructure API, doing business as “Zopper”. Partners Ashwath Rau, Srinath Dasari, Nanditha Gopal and Aditya Singh Chandel led the firm’s team in the transaction, which was completed on November 4, 2022.

AZB & Partners has also advised HDFC Capital Advisors and one of the funds it manages, HDFC Capital Affordable Real Estate Fund-3, on the Rs16 billion (US$193m) acquisition by HDFC Capital Affordable Real Estate Fund-3 of securities in Shapoorji Pallonji Group, consisting of Delphi Properties, Gossip Properties, Palchin Real Estate, Floreat Investments, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate and Manjri Developers. Partners Anand Shah, Ishan Handa and Shivanand Nayak led the firm’s team in the transaction, which was completed on October 29, 2022.

Baker McKenzie has advised UBS on a transnational digital securities issuance using the distributed ledger technology (DLT). The US$50 million fixed rate digital securities were placed in Singapore and Hong Kong, and issued and settled on December 15, 2022. The transaction is an issue of uncertificated securities on chain, which are constituted under English and Swiss law, and tokenized on a permissioned Ethereum-based blockchain. The digital securities are tokens, with each token representing one digital security in the form of a ledger-based security. The digital securities are intended to be immobilized, with UBS Switzerland as custodian, and issued to investors in the form of intermediated securities. The transaction represents one of the first transnational issuances of DLT-based securities by a financial institution, and is part of the ongoing digital transformation of the capital markets landscape. London partners Haden Henderson and Sarah Smith and Singapore member firm Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow principal Stephanie Magnus, supported by Hong Kong partner Karen Man, led the firm’s team in the transaction.

Baker & McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) has advised House Foods Holding USA on its acquisition of Keystone Natural Holdings, a US manufacturer of tofu and other plant-based products. The acquisition was completed at the end of September, and Keystone became a specified subsidiary of the House Foods Group. One of Japan’s leading food manufacturers, the House Foods Group has been operating a tofu business in the US since 1983. In recent years, demand for tofu and other tofu products has been increasing due to increased health consciousness and a focus on foods with low environmental impact. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, Keystone is a manufacturer and marketer of plant-based products, such as tofu and meat substitutes, in the US and Canada. House Foods currently operates two plants in the US, and plans to build a third in Kentucky, which will be operational by 2025, bringing the total number of production facilities in the US and Canada to eight when Keystone’s five facilities are included. Tokyo co-managing corporate M&A partner Akifusa Takada led the firm’s team in the transaction. 

Clifford Chance has advised Australian private equity fund manager Five V Capital on its investment and partnership with BioPak, the global leader in sustainable and compostable food-service packaging. Five V’s investment will support the business during its next phase of organic and acquisitive growth. Founded in 2006, BioPak is a certified B Corp producing and distributing environmentally sustainable food-service packaging across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK. All BioPak products are carbon neutral and compostable, and are made from rapidly renewable plant-based raw materials in manufacturing facilities certified to local and international environmental standards. Sydney partner Jacob Kahwaji, supported by partner Elizabeth Hundt Russell, led the firm’s team in the transaction.

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has advised Morgan Stanley India Capital, as the broker to Alibaba Group entity Alipay Singapore Holdings, on the sale of approximately 263 million equity shares of Zomato by Alipay Singapore on the BSE and the NSE. This transaction comprised a sale of about three percent stake in Zomato. Regional head markets practice (north) partner Gokul Rajan led the firm’s team in the transaction, which was completed on December 2, 2022. Latham and Watkins acted as international counsel for Morgan Stanley.

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has also advised a consortium of lenders led by Bank of Baroda on the Rs39.4 billion (US$476m) facility extended to JSW Renewable Energy (Vijayanagar) for setting up an 825 MW AC hybrid power project (225 MW Ac solar project and 600 MW wind project) at Ballari and Koppal districts in the State of Karnataka to meet the captive power requirement of JSW Steel. This credit facility is secured by, inter alia, creating a first ranking pari passu charge / mortgage on all movable, intangible assets and immovable assets, excluding forest land, in relation to the project, pledge over certain percentage of equity shares, and the other securities issued by JSW Renewable to JSW Future Energy, the promoter of JSW Renewable. Partner Ramanuj Kumar led the firm’s team in the transaction, which was completed on August 16, 2022.

Herbert Smith Freehills has advised e& enterprise, part of e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group, a UAE-based global technology and investment group), on its joint venture with Bespin Global, a leading global public cloud managed services provider. The joint venture, which responds to huge regional demand for cloud-based services, will create a major player in this field in the Middle East, Turkey, Africa and Pakistan. By combining e& enterprise’s strong local market presence and Bespin Global’s best-in-class skills in cloud operations, the JV will allow to extend products and services to governments and large enterprises to meet their needs to accelerate digital transformation in the region. To operate as Bespin Global MEA, the JV will be 65 percent owned by e& enterprise and 35 percent owned by Bespin Global. The total investment and future commitments are expected to be over US$100 million. Both e& enterprise and Bespin Global will contribute their existing public cloud businesses from the region to the JV. At the same time, e& will access the South Korean market, and potentially unlock further collaboration with existing shareholders of Bespin Global by making a primary investment of US$60 million in Bespin Global, with the option to invest another US$60 million in Bespin Global within 18 months from completion of the transaction. Partners Chris Walters and Aaron White led the firm’s team in the transaction.

Khaitan & Co has advised Poonawalla Fincorp (formerly Magma Fincorp) on entering into definitive agreements for the sale of its housing finance subsidiary, Poonawalla Housing Finance, to global private equity fund TPG at a pre-money equity valuation of Rs39 billion (US$472m), subject to regulatory approvals, including approvals of the Reserve Bank of India and the National Housing Bank. BSE and NSE-listed Poonawalla Fincorp is a Cyrus Poonawalla group promoted non-deposit taking systemically important non-banking finance company, registered with the RBI, with a majority stake owned by Rising Sun Holdings, a company owned and controlled by Mr Adar Poonawalla. TPG will also infuse additional equity capital of up to Rs10 billion (US$121m) into Poonawalla Housing Finance in the near term to support expansion. Partners Haigreve Khaitan, Ashraya Rao, Anshuman Mozumdar and Saswat Subasit, supported by partners Purti Minawala, Arindam Ghosh, Abhishek Dadoo and Anshul Prakash, led the firm’s team in the transaction, which was executed on December 14, 2022.

Khaitan & Co has also advised upGrad Education on its acquisition of a minority stake in Global Study Partners Holdings Australia, through a share swap along with an advancement of loan to Global Study Partners Holdings Australia. Partners Monika Srivastava and Sanchit Agarwal, supported by partner Pranjal Prateek, led the firm’s team in the transaction, which was completed on November 3, 2022. Gilbert + Tobin, led by partner John Williamson-Noble, and Bird & Bird, led by Australia managing partner Shane Barber, also advised on the deal.

Paul Hastings has advised Morgan Stanley Asia, China International Capital Corporation Hong Kong Securities and UBS Securities Hong Kong, as joint sponsors, on the US$130.3 million global offering of Weilong Delicious Global Holdings and its listing in Hong Kong. UBS Hong Kong Branch, Morgan Stanley Asia and China International Capital Corporation Hong Kong Securities acted as the joint global coordinators, joint book-runners and joint lead managers; BNP Paribas Securities (Asia) and Futu Securities International (Hong Kong) acted as the joint book-runners and joint lead managers; CCB International Capital acted as the one of the joint lead managers; and Silverbricks Securities and I Win Securities acted as the co-managers. Backed by major investors, including Tencent, Sequoia Capital China, CPE and Hillhouse, Weilong is a Chinese spicy snack food maker with a 2021 market share of 6.2 percent and top ranking among all spicy snack food enterprises in China. Greater China chair global partner Raymond Li and corporate partners Chaobo Fan and Vincent Wang led the firm’s team in the transaction.

TT&A has advised Asian Development Bank on its partnership with IndusInd Bank to establish a US$70 million partial guarantee program to support micro small and medium-sized enterprises in India that aim to participate in trade through environmental and socially sustainable supply chains. Partners Gautam Saha and Pallavi Meena led the firm’s team in the transaction.

TT&A has also advised the United States International Development Finance Corporation on its up to US$20 million loan facility via an external commercial borrowing to Orb Energy to finance the manufacturing (assembly from component parts) of solar photovoltaic panels, and installation of such panels into rooftop-mounted solar photovoltaic systems and solar photovoltaic subarrays in Karnataka. Senior partner Gautam Saha and partner Ambarish Mohanty led the firm’s team in the transaction.

WongPartnership is acting as defence counsel for the China Railway Tunnel Group (Singapore Branch) on charges relating to the Prevention of Corruption Act, pertaining to the alleged bribery of a high-ranking LTA official. Partner Paul Loy is leading the firm’s team in the matter.

WongPartnership is also acting for the Interim Judicial Managers of Hodlnaut, a Singapore-based crypto lender, on the restructuring of its business and its US$300 million debt. Partners Stephanie YeoDaniel Liu and Deya Dubey are leading the firm’s team in the matter. 

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