Allen & Gledhill has advised DBS Bank on the consent solicitation in relation to the outstanding S$175 million (US$130m) 4.05 percent notes due 2025, under the S$500 million (US$371m) multicurrency debt issuance programme, and the update of the programme, to inter alia, increase the programme limit from S$500 million (US$371m) to S$1 billion (US$742m), by Thomson Medical Group. DBS was appointed sole solicitation agent of the consent solicitation and sole arranger of the updated programme. Partners Margaret Chin and Delwin Singh led the firm’s team in the transaction.

AZB & Partners has advised Sika on its acquisition of MBCC group and Master Builders Solutions India, including the divestment of certain divisions of the MBCC Group to Cinven. Partners Nohid Nooreyezdan and Kunal Kumbhat led the firm’s team in the transaction, which was completed on May 2, 2023.

AZB & Partners has also advised Plutus Investment and Holding on its Rs900 million (US$11m) acquisition of Provogue (India). Partners Hardeep Sachdeva Priyamvada Shenoy, Ravi Bhasin and Kamal Shanker led the firm’s team in the transaction, which was completed on April 25, 2023.

Moreover, AZB & Partners is advising Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and investment funds, vehicles and/or entities managed and/or advised by it or its affiliates on the Rs40 billion (US$483m) acquisition by IndiGrid Trust and its affiliates of 100 percent of the units of Virescent Renewable Energy Trust and shares of Virescent Infrastructure Investment Manager. Partners Ashwath Rau and Atreya Bhattacharya are leading the firm’s team in the transaction, which was signed on May 12, 2023 and is yet to be completed.

Further, AZB & Partners is advising Elliott Investment Management on the Rs585.8 billion (US$7.1b) acquisition by Elliott, Patient Square Capital and Veritas Capital Fund Management of Syneos Health. Partner Divya Mundra is leading the firm’s team in the transaction, which was signed on May 10, 2023 and is yet to be completed.

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has advised the investors on the issuance of non-convertible debentures by Kerala Financial Corporation, incorporated under the State Financial Corporations Act of 1951 and owned by the Government of Kerala, for an aggregate amount of Rs7.5 billion (US$90.5m), raised in two separate series of issuance. Kerala Financial issued senior, secured, rated, listed, redeemable, taxable, non-convertible debentures under the Kerala Financial Corporation Debenture Series I 2023 (Series I NCDs) for an aggregate amount of Rs4.765 billion (US$57.6m), and Kerala Financial Corporation Debenture Series II 2023 (Series II NCDs), for an aggregate amount of Rs2.735 billion (US$33m). The Series II NCD issuance closed on May 10, 2023. Partner Leena Chacko led the firm’s team in the transaction.

Indochine Counsel has advised EQuest Education Group on the successful raising of US$120 million in funding, marking a major milestone for both EQuest and the education sector in Vietnam. Through a combination of debt from creditors and equity from KKR’s Global Impact Fund, EQuest Education Group secured the substantial investment, which will be utilized to fuel the expansion of their educational initiatives. The funds will primarily support investments in the Canadian International School (CIS) System in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and the expansion of Broward College Vietnam campuses in Hanoi, Hue and HCMC. Partner Truong Huu Ngu led the firm’s team in the transaction.

JSA has represented Singer India on successfully obtaining the dismissal of an appeal filed against Singer India. The appeal challenged an order passed by the Delhi High Court in a writ petition filed by Singer. The Division Bench of the High Court referred the writ to a larger bench, as it doubted the correctness of the judgment in Continental Carbon India v Modi Rubber, 2012 (131) DRJ 291 (DB). The issue before the Supreme Court was “Whether on approval of a rehabilitation scheme under the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985 (SICA), an unsecured creditor has the option not to accept the scaled down value of its dues, and to wait till the scheme for rehabilitation has worked itself out, with an option to recover the debt with interest post such rehabilitation”. The Supreme Court held that once a rehabilitation scheme is sanctioned by the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction, which may include scaling down the value of dues of the unsecured creditors, the same shall bind all creditors, including the unsecured creditors. The Supreme Court held that the view taken in Modi Rubber is erroneous and contrary to the scheme of SICA, and quashed the same. Partner Amar Gupta, supported by partner Divyam Agarwal, led the firm’s team on the matter.

JSA has also advised Solarad AI and its founders Ravi Choudhary, Bhramar Choudhary and Haider Abbas on Solarad’s fund raising round, led by one of India’s premier early-stage venture capital funds India Quotient. Solarad is an AI-based SAAS startup formed by IIT-Bombay and IIT-Delhi Alumni, with a focus on providing accurate solar energy data and forecasts. Partner Kartik Jain led the firm’s team in the transaction.

Khaitan & Co has advised Mane Kancor Ingredients, a subsidiary of Mane (France), on its investment in a controlling stake in Mane Kancor Spices, a company engaged in the manufacturing, packaging and trading in whole, grounded and blended spices, spice extracts and seasonings. Promoted by Kuriakose Vinay Thomas, Mane Kancor Spices also has private label packing operations and currently serves some prominent retail brands in India. Mane Group is one of the worldwide leaders in the fragrance and flavours design industry. The investment will allow Mane Group to strengthen its ‘farm to fork’ service by bringing processed spices and seasonings into the value chain. Partner Anshuman Mozumdar led the firm’s team in the transaction.

Khaitan & Co has also advised Daiwa Japan on its potential acquisition of minority interest in Ambit (together with its subsidiaries) to create a business partnership with equity/equity capital market synergies for both Ambit and Daiwa. Pursuant to this partnership, Ambit will gain access to Daiwa’s global network, which is one of the largest regional broking houses in the Asia-Pacific region, and be able to further take its products and services to global markets. Similarly, with Ambit as its local partner, Daiwa’s enhanced presence in India will allow it to build a strong India franchise through the Ambit network. Partners Kartick Maheshwari, Anshuman Mozumdar, Ashutosh Sharma and Nayantara Kutty, supported by executive director Sudhir Bassi, director Vinita Krishnan and partners Deepak Kumar, Shailendra Bhandare, Manavendra Mishra, Tomu Francis, Supratim Chakraborty, Anshuman Mozumdar, Nayantara Kutty, Anshuman Sakle, Anisha Chand and Mayank Jain, led the firm’s team in the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals in India.

O’Melveny is advising Samsung Display, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics and manufacturer of display products, on its definitive merger agreement to acquire New York-listed eMagin, a US-based leader in the development design, and manufacture of Active-Matrix OLED microdisplays for high-resolution, AR/VR and other near-eye imaging products, for approximately US$218 million in cash. Korea corporate practice head partner Daniel Kim, M&A partners Brad Finkelstein and Noah Kornblith, supported by partners Jennifer Taylor, Ashwin Gokhale, Adit Khorana, Courtney Dyer, Jeff Walbridge and Woojae Kim, are leading the firm’s team in the transaction, which was announced on May 17, 2023 and is expected to close in the second half of 2023, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Simpson Thacher is representing Blackstone on its US$450 million sale of a minority stake in IBS Software to funds advised by Apax Partners. Following the transaction, Apax will partner closely with IBS Software’s Founder and Executive Chairman, V K Mathews, who will remain the majority shareholder. IBS Software is a leading SaaS solutions provider to the travel industry globally, managing mission-critical operations for customers in the aviation, tour & cruise, hospitality, and energy resources industries. IBS Software’s solutions for the aviation industry cover fleet & crew operations, aircraft maintenance, passenger services, loyalty programs, staff travel and air-cargo management. Partners Ian Ho, Jonathan Stradling, Jonathan Goldstein, Sophie Staples, Jamin Koslowe and Étienne Renaudeau led the firm’s team in the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close end of Q2 2023.

S&R Associates has represented Select Infrastructure (SI) and its shareholders on the (1) sale of 100 percent of its equity shares to Nexus Select Trust (NRT), India’s first retail real estate investment trust (sponsored by Blackstone) in exchange for allotment of units aggregating to Rs37.81 billion (US$456.5m) in NRT to SI shareholders, (2) purchase of 21 percent equity share capital of Nexus Select Mall Management, the manager of NRT, for Rs31.52 million (US$380,549) by certain members of the SI group, and (3) offer for sale of 9.6 million units aggregating to Rs960 million (US$11.6m) by certain members of the SI group in the Rs32 billion (US$386.3m) IPO by NRT. Partners Sandip Bhagat, Mohit Gogia and Pratichi Mishra, supported by competition head Simran Dhir, led the firm’s team in the transaction.

Ashurst boosts global energy team with 5 partner hires

Global law firm Ashurst announces a significant investment in its energy and infrastructure offering, with the hire of five partners across the UK and Asia as the firm responds to client demand driven by the accelerating transition to net zero.

London-based project finance expert Sanja (Sonny) Udovicic, Seoul-based Anna Chung, and Singapore-based Jean-Louis Neves Mandelli and Scott Baggett will join Ashurst as part of a plan to increase the firm’s capacity to service clients across multiple jurisdictions. They will be joined by London-based energy M&A and project development expert Julia Derrick, who returns to Ashurst.

The team hire reflects Ashurst’s strategic focus on the energy and infrastructure industries and the opportunities being driven by the energy transition. With a client base spanning Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas, the new partners will build on the firm’s plan to increase its offering in project development and finance for both sponsors and lenders globally and further strengthen the firm’s Tier 1 energy M&A business in London.

Lee McDonald, Global Division Co-Head, Projects, Energy Transition & Real Estate, said: “Projects is a key area of strategic focus for Ashurst. With one of the highest performing teams in the market, we continue to make focused and strategic investment in the group. The addition of Sonny, Anna, Jean-Louis and Scott demonstrates our commitment to expanding our capability and operating at the forefront of the global projects market. As a team they have worked together for many years and their market standing will serve to further transform our project development and finance offering.”

“The rapid pace of the energy transition combined with rising energy costs and declining energy security is driving demand for expert legal advice, and this team of highly regarded practitioners will allow us to further support our clients to navigate the challenges and opportunities this presents,” added Lee.

Global Co-Head of Corporate, Jason Radford, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Julia back to Ashurst, she is a proven cross-border M&A and project development lawyer whose technical expertise and energy industry knowledge greatly complement our existing strengths and allow us to further build our offering in these areas. Julia’s appointment is a further demonstration of our ongoing investment in the growth of our global corporate team, and follows the recent appointments of Patricia Paton and Jo En Low in Sydney, Alexander Duisberg in Munich and Simon Rahimzada in the UAE.”

Global CEO, Paul Jenkins, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Sonny, Anna, Jean-Louis and Scott to Ashurst and are delighted Julia is also returning to the firm – it’s an exciting development to welcome this elite team of widely-recognised and influential practitioners. They bring with them a wealth of experience, and their arrival will enable us to continue to build our pre-eminent reputation for advising clients in their most complex and strategically important projects.”

“The team will also support our continued growth in key Asian markets by expanding project development and finance teams in the firm’s Singapore office and recently-established joint venture with Korean law firm HwaHyun.” added Paul.

Sonny Udovicic said: “I am excited to join Ashurst’s global partnership and by the chance to help grow the firm’s projects practice across both established and emerging markets. Ashurst’s strategic focus on the energy transition creates a compelling proposition for clients who need support to capitalise on the opportunities that will continue to come with the accelerating shift towards net zero. Anna, Jean-Louis, Scott and I have worked closely together over the years and I know we are all looking forward to helping Ashurst’s existing energy and projects experts address this growing client demand.”

The arrivals follow that of Katie Williams, who joined the firm’s London office from Linklaters in November 2022, and partners Paul Lingard, Miriam D’Souza and Jessica Davies who joined Ashurst’s Perth office from Norton Rose Fulbright in August 2022.

The five partners join from Shearman & Sterling.

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