US quartet brought on board as investors target Alibaba Group

US firms Debevoise & Plimpton, Goodwin Procter, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett have been engaged to advise on a $1.6bn (£1.04bn) investment in Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba Group.


Thomas Britt
Thomas Britt

A group of investors led by US private equity firm Silver Lake Partners and Russian venture firm DST Global has agreed to invest $1.6bn in Hangzhou-­headquartered Alibaba Group, the parent company of Hong Kong-listed ­Alibaba.com. Singapore’s Temasek and China’s Yunfeng Capital are also part of the investment group.

The deal will give the investors a stake of just over 5 per cent in Alibaba, which has been valued at more than $32bn.

A team from Paul Weiss, led by Hong Kong partner Jeanette Chan and Tokyo partner Tong Yu, is acting as the international legal advisor to Silver Lake and Temasek in the transaction.

DST Global turned to Goodwin Procter Hong Kong partner and Asia chair Yash Rana, while Yunfeng Capital appointed a team of Simpson Thacher lawyers headed by Hong Kong ­partners Leiming Chen and Philip Culhane.

Haiwen & Partners, ­initially sought out by DST Global as its PRC legal ­advisor, now represents the investors group to ensure synergies among investors. Haiwen’s Beijing partner Zhang Jiping is the lead counsel.

Alibaba’s Hong Kong-based general counsel ­Timothy Steinert is working closely with external counsel Debevoise & ­Plimpton to help ensure the transaction comes to a ­successful close.

Debevoise Hong Kong partner Thomas Britt, who is leading on this transaction, has a proven working relationship with Alibaba. In 2005, he advised the ­Chinese group in receiving a $1bn investment from Yahoo!.