Debevoise and Linklaters help AIA forge Asia partnership with Citibank

Debevoise & Plimpton and Linklaters have played lead roles advising the $4bn (£2.4bn) landmark bancassurance partnership between AIA and Citibank in the Asia-Pacific region.

Under the exclusive deal, Hong Kong-based life insurer AIA will sell its insurance products through Citibank’s retail branch network in 11 markets across Asia Pacific, encompassing Australia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Korea and five South East Asian countries. The deal is reportedly valued at over $4bn over its 15-year agreement period.

Debevoise is advising long-standing client AIA, fielding Hong Kong corporate partner Drew Dutton with support from London tax partner Richard Ward.

Linklaters acted for Citibank with Hong Kong corporate partner Matthew Middleditch leading its team.

The arrangements will be implemented in each local territory during the course of 2014.

Debevoise has advised a raft of large transactions by AIA across Asia in recent years. Last year, the firm advised the insurer’s $1.7bn acquisition of the Malaysian insurance business from ING (11 October 2012). More recently, it advised AIG in its $6.45bn sale of ordinary shares of AIA Group. Dutton was the firm’s lead partner for both deals.

Hong Kong-headquartered AIA was carved out from American International Group a few years ago and became a public company via a $17.8bn IPO in Hong Kong (25 May 2009). Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Debevoise acted for AIA in the IPO, while Linklaters and Sullivan & Cromwell advised the underwriters.