Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Hughes Hubbard & Reed have the lead roles on a $2 billion investment in South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Corp. by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund.
Since launching in 2010 by Harvard Business School dropout Bom Kim, Coupang has become the top online retailer in Asia’s fourth-largest economy. Half of South Korea’s 51 million people have downloaded its mobile application, Coupang said in a statement. Revenue has more than doubled in the past two years and is expected to reach nearly $5 billion this year, the company said.
SoftBank Group already invested $1 billion in Coupang in June 2015—then valuing the company at around $9 billion, according to Reuters—and gained a seat on its board. Its almost $100 billion Vision Fund was established in 2016 in cooperation with a Saudi Arabian sovereign fund for technology investment around the world. Vision Fund portfolio companies include Indian e-commerce company Flipkart and shared office space provider WeWork Companies Inc.
Weil Shanghai partner Charles Ching and Hong Kong partner Chris Welty are advising the Vision Fund. Last year, the New York firm represented SoftBank Group on a $3.3 billion acquisition of New York Stock Exchange-listed alternative investment firm Fortress Investment Group.
Hughes Hubbard New York partner Kenneth Lefkowitz is leading a team representing Coupang. Lefkowitz is supported by capital markets partners Gary Simon and Andrew Fowler in New York; litigation partner Benjamin Britz in Washington, D.C.; international trade partner Ryan Fayhee in Washington, D.C.; media, technology and commercial transactions partner Matthew Syrkin in New York; and employment partners Spencer Harrison and Shane Stroud in New York.
Last year, Hughes Hubbard, alongside Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, advised Southeast Asian ride-hailing app Grab Holdings Inc. on a $2.5 billion investment from SoftBank Group and Chinese car-sharing company Didi Chuxing.
Separate teams of South Korean firm Kim & Chang are serving as Korean counsel to both sides of the deal.
*Updated 11/27: This article has been updated with the Hughes Hubbard partners on the deal.