Magic circle trio advises as HSBC sells stake in Chinese insurer

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has advised HSBC on the $9.4bn (£5.8bn) sale of its entire shareholding in China’s Ping An Insurance Group to Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group, which was represented by Linklaters.

Teresa Ko
Teresa Ko

Freshfields’ transaction team was led by China chair and Hong Kong corporate partner Teresa Ko, who worked alongside Hong Kong and Singapore partner David Winfield, head of the firm’s Asia finance practice.

Through the deal, HSBC will sell a 15.6 per cent stake in the Chinese insurance group.

Linklaters Hong Kong-based corporate partner Tien Chao led the firm’s team advising Charoen Pokphand, which is controlled by Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont.

Clifford Chance is understood to have acted for the financial advisers to the buyer.

Shenzhen-headquartered Ping An is one of China’s largest insurers. It has been listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 2004.

Background to this deal:

Linklaters advised the underwriters on the $1.8bn Hong Kong IPO of Ping An in 2004. The firm also advised Credit Suisse on Ping An Insurance’s acquisition of Shenzhen Development Bank in 2009.

DLA Piper, meanwhile, is one of Ping An’s regular advisers. Most recently, the firm, led by Hong Kong corporate partner Mabel Liu, advised Ping An on the sale of a $2.5bn stake to Chow Tai Fook.

Clifford Chance and Norton Rose have both been among HSBC’s regular advisers for M&A transactions in Asia. In March 2012, Clifford Chance, led by Hong Kong-based Asia corporate head Roger Denny, advised HSBC and Hang Seng Bank on the sale of their general insurance businesses to Axa and QBE (8 March 2012). At the end of 2011, Norton Rose London corporate partner Richard Crosby advised HSBC on the sale of its retail banking and wealth management business in Thailand to Bank of Ayudhya for $553m.