has muscled in on its first deal for Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA), advising as lead manager on the HK$1.4bn (£107.5m) IPO of Ports Design.
Although Norton Rose has strong ties with Credit Lyonnais in Paris, it has not previously received an instruction from the Asian branch of the bank, which uses a range of firms in the region, including Simmons & Simmons.
However, it was not the Paris connection but a good word from another Hong Kong client, Suez Asia Holdings, that won the work for Norton Rose. Suez holds a stake in Ports Design’s parent company Brimeland.
“When [Ports Design] was looking to do the IPO, Suez Asia recommended us to CLSA,” said Glenn Hall, the corporate finance partner leading the deal. Head of Norton Rose’s Asia practice David Stannard also has contacts at Credit Lyonnais, so the firm will no doubt be hoping to strengthen ties with its new client.
Ports Design is a fashion and luxury goods business. It originated in Canada but operates principally in China, designing and distributing its own brand as well as manufacturing and selling BMW-branded goods in Asia. The company commenced trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on 31 October.
The deal has taken some time to come to fruition, as it was interrupted by the onslaught of SARS.
“SARS interrupted the deal late last year,” said US corporate finance partner Rich Baumann, who also advised on the deal. “We had to wait until the world would touch anything associated with Hong Kong again.”
Ports Design was advised by Koo & Partners in association with Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker. The Koo team was led by partner Liza Lee.