HSF advises on blockbuster Asian IPOs

by Sol Dolor29 Mar 2017
Herbert Smith Freehills has advised on two major IPOs in Asia, helping a China education provider raise $168m in Hong Kong and an Indian supermarket chain raise US$285m in Mumbai.

HSF advised Citigroup Global Markets Asia and Macquarie Capital as underwriters and joint sponsors of the IPO of Minsheng Education on the main board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. One of China’s ten largest providers of higher education, Minsheng owns four undergraduate and junior colleges in China. It also has investments in private education institutions in other Asian countries.

Partner Matt Emsley led the team advising the underwriters and partner Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan advised on US securities law aspects of the transaction. They were assisted by senior associates Charles Wang and Stanley Xie, and associates George Wu, Stephanie Chan, and Ronald Hui in Hong Kong, and by associate Shell Chen in Beijing.

“Private education is one of the fastest-growing markets in China; it is already worth around US$238 billion with double-digit growth predicted year on year,” said Emsley.

“The Hong Kong market is enjoying a steady pipeline of quality offerings, generally in high-growth industries such as education,” said Sivaramakrishnan.

The firm also advised a nine-bank syndicate on the IPO and Rule 144A/Regulation S global offering of Indian supermarket chain Avenue Supermarts Limited (ASL) on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The bank syndicate was led by Kotak Mahindra Capital, and also comprised Axis Capital, Edelweiss, HDFC, ICICI Securities, Inga Capital, JM Financial, Motilal Oswal and SBI Capital.

One of the largest and most profitable food and daily essentials retailers in India, ASL has 118 stores across 45 cities in the country. Its offering was nearly 105 times oversubscribed and shares opened at a premium of more than 100% on their trading debut, the highest listing premium for any Indian IPO in the last 10 years.

Sivaramakrishnan led the team advising the syndicate, assisted by associate Rohit Anand and senior US securities associate Jin Kong in Singapore. The team was also supported by Suzanne Cowan, Hannah Donnan, and Adam Craig from the firm's alternative legal services business in Belfast.


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