Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom have the lead roles on U.S. insurer Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.’s $1.7 billion sale of its Asia unit to an investor group led by Jack Ma-backed brokerage house Yunfeng Financial Group Ltd.
In a cash and stock deal announced on Thursday, the Springfield, Massachusetts-based company agreed to sell MassMutual Asia Ltd. to Hong Kong-listed Yunfeng Financial and a consortium of Asian investors including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. affiliate Ant Financial Services Group for $1.01 billion in cash and $668 million worth of Yunfeng Financial shares.
After the transaction, Yunfeng Financial will hold a 60 percent majority stake in Hong Kong-based MassMutual Asia Ltd., while others, including Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC affiliate City-Scape Pte. Ltd., Ant Financial and Sina Corp., will each hold a minority interest.
Yunfeng Financial was once Hong Kong-based brokerage Reorient Group Ltd. In 2015, a private equity firm controlled by Ma and David Yu—Yunfeng Capital—became a controlling shareholder of the company, which then changed its name to Yufeng Financial the next year.
Simpson Thacher is representing Yunfeng Financial with a team led by Hong Kong-based China practice head Celia Lam.
MassMutual is advised by Skadden with a team that includes corporate partners Jonathan Stone and Edward Lam, banking partner Clive Rough and litigation partners Rory McAlpine and Bradley Klein in Hong Kong, financial institutions partners Robert Sullivan and Todd Freed in New York, and tax partners Cliff Gross and Jessica Hough in Washington, D.C., Moshe Spinowitz in Boston and Alex Jupp in London.