Norton Rose back in vogue with HSBC on KEB bid

HSBC has instructed traditional corporate adviser Norton Rose on its $4.9bn (£2.43bn) bid for Korea Exchange Bank (KEB).

The bank hopes to acquire a 51 per cent stake in KEB from Dallas-based buyout company Lone Star.

The instruction is a boost for Norton Rose, which has lost out to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer on a number of corporate deals in recent years.

It is understood that corporate partner and Hong Kong head David Stannard and equity capital markets partner Richard Crosby are leading the Hong Kong team, with London partners Allen Bainbridge and Martin Scott advising in the UK.

In 2004 Freshfields advised the bank on its acquisition of a 19.9 per cent stake in the Bank of Communications (The Lawyer, 5 July 2004).

Norton Rose advised HSBC on the £8.81bn purchase of Household International in 2002 and the 1999 acquisition of Republic National Bank and Crédit Commercial de France.

If HSBC wins the bid, it plans to keep the Korea Exchange Bank name and its listing on the Korean Stock Exchange.

Last month Lone Star sold a 13.1 per cent stake in KEB last month to Korea’s Kookim Bank.

Linklaters partner and head of corporate in Hong Kong Keith Johnson and Hong Kong-based partner Sang Lee are advising Lone Star.