Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters have the key legal roles in HSBC Holdings Plc.’s planned $9.4 billion sale of its minority stake in Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd. to Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group Co. Ltd.
 
Hong Kong partners Teresa Ko and David Winfield, who respectively lead Freshfields’ China and Asia finance practices, are representing HSBC in the sale, which is expected to be completed by Jan. 7.
 
Linklaters Hong Kong partner Tien-yo Chao is leading a team advising Bangkok-based CP, which is controlled by billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont. The company is purchasing a 15.6 percent stake in Ping An through four of its wholly owned subsidiaries, according to a statement from HSBC. Over the past couple of years, the U.K.-based financial services company has been seeking to shed non-core assets in part to strengthen its balance sheet and focus more on its primary banking business.
 
HSBC, which began building its position in Ping An ten years ago, will book a $2.6 billion profit from the deal, the statement said.
 
While CP has not yet released an official statement of its own, Reuters noted that the transaction marked a significant departure from the company’s core businesses, which are poultry and animal feed.
 
The news service said that, although CP has operated in China since 1979, the company’s only experience in the insurance business was through a relatively small Thai joint venture with German insurer Allianz. CP sold its interest in that joint venture in May for about $9.8 million.
 
Updated, 12/6/12, 11:28 EDT: The name of the lead Linklaters partner was added to the third paragraph.
 
Email: tbrennan@alm.com .