Skadden and Shearman help Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo with US IPO

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Shearman & Sterling have been drafted in as Chinese social media company Sina Weibo prepares for a $500m IPO in the US.

The Twitter-like micro-blogging service provider recently filed an application with the Securities & Exchange Commission for its global offering of American depositary shares in the US.

Sina Weibo’s parent company Sina Corporation, a leading Chinese internet media company listed on Nasdaq, has instructed Skadden as the issuer’s international counsel. Hong Kong corporate partner Julie Gao is leading the transaction team.

Beijing-based TransAsia Lawyers has been engaged as the issuer’s PRC counsel, with TMT partners Philip Qu and Justina Zhang as the lead partners.

Shearman & Sterling is acting for the underwriters Goldman Sachs (Asia) and Credit Suisse Securities (USA), alongside PRC counsel Haiwen & Partners. Shearman’s team is headed by Palo Alto corporate lawyer Alan Seem, and Haiwen Beijing corporate partner Liu Su is leading its team.

Shearman has been a long-standing advisor to Sina. It has advised Sina on a number of M&A transactions following its IPO in 2000, including most recently the $586m sale of a stake in Weibo to e-commerce business Alibaba Group (30 April 2013).

Alibaba Group is also preparing an IPO in the US, which reportedly aims to raise $15bn and is expected to become one of the largest listings in history (4 October 2013). Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Sullivan & Cromwell are understood to be acting for the issuer and the underwriters respectively. Alibaba’s long-standing PRC counsel Fangda Partners is also thought to have secured a role in this highly-anticipated global offering.