A&O and Allen & Gledhill lead on SocGen’s private banking sale in Asia

Allen & Overy is advising Société Générale on the disposal of its private banking business in Singapore and Hong Kong to Singapore’s DBS Bank, which turned to Allen & Gledhill and Clifford Chance for advice.

Allen & Overy (A&O) is advising the French bank in the assets sale, which has a total value of $220m. Societe Generale is offloading its private banking business in Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as a part of its private banking business in Dubai and a part of its trust business in Singapore to DBS Bank.

These businesses represent $12.6bn of assets under management as of 31 December 2013.

A&O’s Paris office is leading the transaction, with a team headed by corporate partner Alexandre Ancel and counsel Caroline Ledoux. A number of partners from the firm’s other offices are also involved, including Singapore corporate partner Brendan Hannigan, Hong Kong regulatory partner Alan Ewins and Dubai senior associate Zeid Qursha.

Allen & Gledhill has been instructed by its long-standing client DBS Bank as the lead counsel in this transaction. Singapore corporate partner Prawiro Widjaja is leading the firm’s team.

Clifford Chance is also providing support to the Singaporean bank in Hong Kong and Dubai.

The transaction is expected to be completed within the fourth quarter of 2014. As part of the deal, Société Générale and DBS Bank have also agreed to establish a commercial partnership in relation to their private banking activities in Europe and Asia.

A&O has advised a number of high-profile Asia disposals by European financial institutions. Last September, the firm acted for ING group on the £1.1bn sale of its South Korean life insurance business to South Korean private equity firm MBK Partner (30 September 2013). 

Allen & Gledhill’s Widjaja has previously advised DBS Bank on several M&A transactions, including the bank’s S$850m divestment of a stake in Bank of the Philippine Islands in November 2013. The firm’s capital markets partners also regularly advise the bank in equity and debt capital markets deals.