China/Hong Kong

Sullivan & Cromwell, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Beijing-based Jingtian & Gongcheng are advising state-owned China Telecom Corp. Ltd. on the $13.3 billion acquisition of a 3G mobile network currently held by its parent company, China Telecommunications Corp. China Telecom, which operates the smallest mobile division of China’s large state-owned telecom carriers, is attempting to grow beyond its already large fixed-line business. Sullivan & Cromwell Hong Kong partner Chun Wei is advising China Telecom on U.S. law. A Freshfields team led by Hong Kong–based China chairwoman Teresa Ko, and including Beijing partner Richard Wang, is advising on Hong Kong law. Jingtian & Gongcheng is China Telecom’s Chinese counsel. The deal is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, and is expected to close by the end of 2012. [Read full story]


Davis Polk & Wardwell is representing Daikin Industries Ltd. on its $3.7 billion acquisition of U.S. competitor Goodman Global Inc. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the fourth quarter. On completion of the acquisition, Osaka-based Daikin will be the world’s largest maker of air conditioning units, overtaking United Technologies Corp.’s Carrier unit. The Davis Polk team includes Tokyo partners Theodore Paradise and Kyoko Lin, Menlo Park partner Mischa Travers, and New York partners Jeffrey Crandall, Michael Davis, and Ronan Harty. The seller is San Francisco–based private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, which is being represented by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett Palo Alto partner Richard Capelouto. [Read full story]
Clifford Chance is advising London-based private equity firm Permira on the $1 billion takeover of Osaka-based Akindo Sushiro, which operates 335 revolving-counter sushi bars. Permira is buying the stake held by Unison Capital Inc., which controls 80 percent of Akindo Sushiro shares, with the restaurant’s founding family holding the rest. Clifford Chance Tokyo’s Andrew Whan is the lead partner advising Permira on the deal. The law firm previously guided Permira through its purchase of a majority stake in Creganna–Tactx Medical, an Irish medical device maker, in 2010. Japanese law firm  Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is acting as domestic counsel to Akindo Sushiro, with its Tokyo team led by partners Gaku Ishiwata and Rintaro Shinohara. [Read full story]

Ashurt has advised Fujifilm Holdings Corp. on the business process outsourcing division of Sydney-based customer communications company Salmat Ltd. for $387.5 million. The acquisition of the unit, which handles a number of corporate back-office operations, including customer invoicing and database management, on an outsourced basis is part of Fujifilm’s strategy to move away from consumer electronics and further into the solutions and services business. Ashurt’s team on the deal was led by Sydney partner Ian Williams and Tokyo partner Natsuko Ogawa. Salmat was advised by Clayton Utz Sydney partner Geoff Hoffman.


Gilbert + Tobin is acting for U.S. specialty chemical producer Rockwood Holdings Inc. on its purchase of all outstanding shares of Perth-based Talison Lithium Ltd., for approximately $730.9 million. Gilbert + Tobin partners Peter Cook and David Clee are advising Princeton-based Rockwood on the deal, while Clayton Utz Perth partner Heath Lewis is leading a team advising Talison.

Gilbert + Tobin is representing Sydney-based grain seller GrainCorp Ltd. on its $371 million acquisition of storage and logistics group Gardner Smith Group. The Gilbert + Tobin team was led by Sydney partner John Williamson-Noble, with Minter Ellison Sydney partner Costas Condoleon taking the lead for Gardner Smith. The newly formed company immediately acquired Integro Foods, a subsidiary of Australian food manufacturer Goodman Fielder, for $170 million. Freehills partners Rebecca Maslen-Stannage and Sarah Kenny acted for Goodman Fielder on the sale. 

Clayton Utz has advised Cameco Corp. on its $430 million takeover of BHP Billiton’s Yeelirrie uranium project in Western Australia. Cameco, a Toronto- and NYSE-listed uranium producer based in Saskatoon, Canada, will now control one of Australia’s largest undeveloped uranium deposits. Energy and resources partners Heath Lewis and Brett Cohen led the Clayton Utz team in Perth. The seller was advised by an Ashurt team headed by Perth partners Geoff Gishubl and Antonella Pacitti.

Minter Ellison has acted for Sydney-based FKP Property Group on a $214.8 million entitlement offer of securities to existing shareholders. The property and investment company, which has significant holdings in retirement homes, will use the proceeds to repay debt and boost the company’s liquidity position. Brisbane partners Gary Goldman and Ian Lockhard, as well as Sydney partner Daniel Scotti, led on the deal for Minter Ellison, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom Sydney partner Mark Leemen acted as U.S. counsel to FKP. Goldman Sachs Australia Pty. Ltd., which was lead manager and underwriter for the offering, was represented by Clayton Utz partner Stuart Byrne as Australian legal adviser and Sidley Austin partner Robert Meyers as U.S. counsel, both in Sydney.

Allens has advised Charter Hall, a Sydney-based property group, on the acquisition of the Bay Village Shopping Centre in New South Wales for $164 million. The complex was purchased from Stockland Corp. Ltd., another Sydney property outfit, which develops residential, retail, and industrial properties. The Allens team was led by Sydney partners Nicholas Cowie and Stuart McCulloch.


WongPartnership is advising Swiss tool and component maker SFS Group on its acquisition of Singaporean precision fastener maker Unisteel Technology International Ltd. from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. The value of the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, was not disclosed. However, KKR bought Unisteel for $575 million in 2008. WongPartnership’s Ng Wai King and Audrey Chng acted as lead partners for SFS on the deal. KKR turned to frequent outside counsel Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, with Hong Kong partners Kathryn Sudol and Sinead O’Shea leading work on the deal. Singapore firm Allen and Gledhill also advised KKR on the transaction. [Read full story]