Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, and Gilbert + Tobin have the lead roles in the proposed $3.5 billion takeover of Australia’s GrainCorp Ltd. by U.S. agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co. GrainCorp., one of Australia’s largest wheat exporters, has agreed to recommend ADM’s offer to its shareholders pending completion of due diligence. ADM is being represented by Cravath New York partners Richard Hall and Andrew Thompson and Corrs Chamber Sydney partners Braddon Jolley and Sandy Mak. They are working with ADM general counsel Marschall Smith. Gilbert + Tobin is acting for GrainCorp on the deal with a team led by Sydney partners John Williamson-Noble, Peter Cook, and David Clee. [Read full story]
Herbert Smith Freehills Sydney partners John Nestel, Damien Bailey, and Mark Currell advised Deutsche Bank AG on its purchase of a loan portfolio from bankrupt Australian mortgage lender Banksia Securities Ltd., which collapsed last year. Though Deutsche Bank’s purchase price was not disclosed, the portfolio has been valued at $244.6 million. Clayton Utz Melbourne partners Nick Poole and John McGuire also advised Deutsche.*  Ashurst Sydney partners Jamie Ng and Timothy Sackar represented advisory firm McGrathNicol as Banksia’s receivers.
Ashurst Sydney partners William Koek and Steve Smith represented Drillsearch Energy Ltd. on a $102.6 million convertible bond issue. The company is raising money in order to refinance Drillsearch’s short-term $102.6 million bridge facility, which it used to finance the acquisition of Acer Energy Ltd. late last year. There is also a $25 million upsize option if demand warrants the additional issue. Herbert Smith Freehills Sydney partners Patrick Lowden and Philippa Stone advised underwriter Goldman Sachs International. Linklaters acted as English counsel to Goldman.

China/Hong Kong

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom has advised China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., also known as Sinopec, on a recent $3.5 billion bond issue. Sinopec will use the funds raised to acquire overseas assets as well as to repay existing debt. Skadden Shanghai partner Gregory Miao, Beijing partner Peter Huang, and Hong Kong partner Edward Lam acted for Sinopec. Davis Polk & Wardwell Hong Kong partner James Lin and London partner John Paton represented joint global coordinators Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Merrill Lynch International, UBS AG, and J.P. Morgan Securities Plc. [Read full story]
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Shearman & Sterling have the lead roles in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s $586 million investment in the Twitter-like microblog service Weibo. Alibaba will acquire an 18 percent stake in Weibo, a subsidiary of U.S.–listed Chinese Internet portal company Sina Corp., with the option to boost its interest to 30 percent “at a mutually agreed valuation within a certain period of time in the future,” according to a Sina statement. Simpson Thacher Hong Kong partner Kathryn Sudol acted for Alibaba on the deal, working with the general counsel Timothy Steinert. Fangda Partners Shanghai partner Jonathan Zhou represented Alibaba on Chinese law issues, while Walkers Hong Kong partner Dina Wong advised on Cayman Islands law.* Shearman Beijing partner Lee Edwards led the team advising Sina. Maples and Calder Hong Kong partners Gareth Griffiths and Greg Knowles advised Sina on Cayman Islands law. [Read full story]

Southeast Asia

Lee Hishammudin Allen & Gledhill and Skrine are advising Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd. and Canada’s Sun Life Assurance Co., respectively, on their $363.7 million purchase of insurance joint venture CIMB Aviva. The JV is 51 percent controlled by CIMB Group Holdings Bhd., Malaysia’s second-largest bank, and British insurer Aviva Plc. holds the remaining stake. Baker & McKenzie Malaysian affiliate firm Wong & Partners is representing CIMB Group, with Kuala Lumpur partner Andre Gan leading the firm’s advisory team. Ashurst Singapore partner Keith McGuire is serving as counsel to Aviva.


Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co. Mumbai partner Niloufer Lam acted for Union Bank of India on its issue of $350 million in five-year dollar-denominated bonds. The issue is part of the bank’s larger $2 billion medium-term note program. Allen & Overy Hong Kong partner Andrew Harrow represented lead managers Barclays Bank Plc., BNP Paribas Hong Kong, Citigroup Global Markets Ltd., J.P. Morgan Securities Plc., Merrill Lynch International, and Standard Chartered Bank.
Khaitan & Co. Mumbai partner Nikhilesh Panchal has advised Indian conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra on a $36 million sale of shares in its hospitality-focused subsidiary Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. The money raised will be used to develop existing resorts as well as buy new properties. Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co. Mumbai partner Gaurav Gupte represented Kotak Securities Ltd., ICICI Securities Ltd., and Religare Capital Markets Ltd. as brokers on the sale of shares to the public, and Kotak Mahindra Capital Co. Ltd., ICICI Securities Ltd., and Religare Capital Markets Ltd as joint lead managers on a placement with institutional investors. Jones Day Singapore partner Manoj Bhargava advised the brokers and lead managers on U.S. law.


Rajah & Tann advised logistics company CWT Ltd. on its recent $80.8 million bond issue, the funds from which will be used for general corporate purposes. The notes are a part of CWT’s larger $405.4 million multicurrency debt issuance program. Allen & Gledhill partners Au Huey Ling and Ong Kangxi acted for arrangers and dealers DBS Bank Ltd. and Standard Chartered Bank.
Trilegal has advised Tata International Singapore Ltd. on its issue of $40.5 million in bonds over the Singapore Exchange. The company, a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Tata Group, operates in the manufacturing and logistics sectors, particularly in regard to the trade and distribution of leather, metals, and minerals products. Tata International plans to use the money to repay existing debt and for general corporate purposes. Herbert Smith Freehills Singapore partner Philip Lee acted for lead manager The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc.
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*Updated, 5/3/13: This story has been updated to include the Clayton Utz partners advising Deutsche Bank AG on its purcahse of a portfolio of loans from the now defunct Banksia Securities Ltd., as well as Walkers’ role as adviser to Alibaba on its investment in Sina Corp.’s Weibo microblogging service.