Freshfields and Herbert Smith win Hong Kong roles on ICBC flotation

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Herbert Smith have scooped the Hong Kong roles on the estimated $12bn (£6.51bn) Industrial & Commercial Bank of China’s (ICBC) flotation.

The ICBC is expected to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange later this year, although no date has been set. The listing had been tipped for September, but is understood to have been put back at least a month.

Freshfields Hong Kong partner Teresa Ko and Beijing partner Chris Wong are leading the Hong Kong law advice to the underwriters, which include Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse. Two Chinese investment banks are also involved – a joint venture between the China International Capital Corporation (CICC) and Morgan Stanley, and a second joint venture between ICBC’s in-house investment bank, ICEA, and Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia.

The underwriters have appointed Shearman & Sterling to provide US law advice, with Asia managing partner Matthew Bersani leading the advice out of Hong Kong, along with Beijing partner Alan Seem.

Acting for issuer ICBC are Herbert Smith Beijing partners Michael Fosh and Jeremy Xiao, along with Ashley Alder in Hong Kong. On the US side for the issuer, Wall Street firm Davis Polk & Wardwell has been instructed.

The expected $12bn flotation of ICBC follows hot on the heels of the $11bn (£5.97bn) Bank of China IPO, which took place earlier this month. Freshfields advised the issuer on that IPO, alongside Sullivan & Cromwell, while Allen & Overy and Shearman advised the underwriters.