Freshfields scoops raft of Chinese deals

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has hedged any effects of the credit crunch by landing key roles on five headline equity capital markets (ECM) deals out of China this week.

The magic circle firm has advised on three IPOs and two fundraisings this week in the region, where it has around 40 lawyers advising on ECM and corporate matters.

Two of the deals were for new corporate clients won through pitches. Freshfields advised both real estate developer China SOHO on its $1.9bn (£930m) IPO and also clothes manufacturer Bosideng on its $836m (£411m) flotation last week. In both cases, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom advised the underwriters.

On the third IPO – the $706m (£347m) flotation of sportswear brand China Dongxiang Group, advised by Norton Rose and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett – and on the two follow-on offerings, Freshfields advised the banks.

On Dongxiang, joint global coordinators Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank turned to Freshfields. Merrill also looked to the magic circle firm when it was a placing agent on the $165m (£81m) placing of shares in Galaxy Entertainment, as well as on the final deal: the $81m (£40m) placing of shares in VST Holdings, where Merrill was a placing agent with Macquarie Securities.

China managing partner Teresa Ko led advice to China SOHO, while Beijing-based corporate partner Chirs Wong led on Bosideng. Leading advice to the banks on the latter three deals was corporate partner Kay-Ian Ng in Hong Kong.

Ng told The Lawyer: “The Hong Kong and China markets are hittting new highs; it seems to be defying gravity. China is flush with cash and there is lots of liquidity, which means the credit crunch has not had as much of an effect over here.”