Clifford Chance advises on China Mobile’s acquisition of Thai telecoms carrier

Clifford Chance has advised China Mobile on its $880m investment in Thai telecommunications company True Corporation, which turned to Linklaters for advice.

Dual-listed in New York and Hong Kong, China Mobile is the world’s largest telecoms carrier by the number of subscribers. Through the $880m investment, it will acquire an 18 per cent equity stake in True Corporation. Clifford Chance acted for China Mobile in this deal with the team being co-led by Beijing corporate partner Terence Foo and Bangkok partner Andrew Matthews.

True Corporation, listed in Thailand, is controlled by Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group. It instructed Linklaters’ Bangkok partner Wilailuk Okanurak for the deal. Linklaters has been advising the Thai conglomerate group in many previous transactions, including its $9.4bn investment in China’s Ping An Insurance in 2012 (5 December 2012).

Upon completion, China Mobile will become the Thai telecoms company’s second largest shareholder.

According to Foo, the firm has seen continued interest among clients such as China Mobile to invest in emerging markets. 

Clifford Chance has recently advised on a number of outbound transactions by Chinese state-owned companies. Earlier this year, it advised food group COFCO Corporation on two of its overseas acquisitions, a $1.5bn investment into Hong Kong-based agricultural trading firm Noble Agri and the acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in Dutch grain trader Nidera. Foo led on both deals.