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HSBC has instructed traditional corporate advisers Norton Rose to advise on its $4.9bn (£2.43bn) bid for Korea Exchange Bank (KEB).
The bank hopes to acquire a 51 per cent stake in KEB from Dallas-based buy-out company Lone Star.
The instruction is a significant boost for Norton Rose, which has lost out to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer on a number of corporate deals in recent years.
It is understood that David Stannard, corporate partner and head of the Norton Rose Hong Kong office, and equity capital markets partner Richard Crosby are leading the Hong Kong team with London partners Allen Bainbridge and Martin Scott advising in the UK.
Freshfields began to see more instructions from the bank in 2004 after moving in on Norton Rose's strong, longstanding relationship with HSBC.
In 2004 (5 July), The Lawyer reported on Freshfields advising the bank on its acquisition of a 19.9 per cent stake in the Bank of Communications.
Norton Rose advised HSBC on its £8.81bn purchase of Household International in 2002 and the acquisition of Republic National Bank and Credit Commercial de France.
Linklaters' Keith Johnson is understood to be advising Lone Star on the deal.