Freshfields, Herbert Smith scoop record China IPO

The Industrial & Commercial Bank of China’s (ICBC) flotation set down for later this month looks set to hit the record books, eclipsing the $11bn (£6.04bn) Bank of China’s IPO earlier this year.

As first revealed on thelawyer.com (26 June), Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Herbert Smith scooped lead roles on the flotation of ICBC, which is expected to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Shanghai bourses on October 27 and raise up to $21.8bn.

Herbert Smith is advising ICBC, China’s largest commercial bank, as issuer on Hong Kong law. The firm’s team is being led by Beijing partners Michael Fosh and Jeremy Xiao.

Freshfields is advising the underwriters on Hong Kong law, working with Shearman & Sterling, which will provide US law advice. The team at Freshfields is being led by partner Teresa Ko, while partner Matthew Bersani is heading the team at Shearman.

The underwriters, which include Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and two Chinese investment banks, are taking local Chinese law advice from Haiwen & Partners.

ICBC will be the first major Chinese company to simultaneously list on the mainland and overseas stock markets.

It is the third of the ‘big four’ state-owned commercial banks to list on the stock market after the Bank of China and China Construction Bank, which listed in June this year and November last year, respectively.