April 26, 2013
Latham & Watkins was jointly ranked #1 by number of winning deals in the Asian-MENA Counsel 2012 “Deals of the Year” awards. Latham advised on six award-winning deals, as well as two transactions which received honourable mentions.
In its 8th year, Asian-MENA Counsel’s awards “recognize transactions which standout for their overall excellence.” The deals were chosen based on “complexity, uniqueness, size and innovation,” according to Asian-MENA Counsel. The publication added: “Congratulations to the robust legal teams behind all our winning and honourably mentioned deals. It became quickly clear that getting the deals across the finish line required a barrel full of innovation, strategic thinking and cerebral cunning as well as perseverance.”
Latham advised on multiple ground-breaking deals in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions spanning a number of transactional practices, including: M&A; Capital Markets; Project Finance; and Islamic Finance. The winning deals included:
- Nestle’s US$1.7 billion acquisition of a controlling stake in Hsu Fu Chi International Ltd, described by Asian-MENA Counsel as “Momentous for creating a partnership between one of the world’s leading nutrition companies and a leading manufacturer and distributor of confectionery products, this deal also won plaudits for its uniqueness.”
- Pertamina’s US$2.5 billion bond offering; “[T]this deal flexed its muscle for the number of firsts that it achieved, especially with regard to size and complexity. It was the largest Asian debt issuance to the US market as at the end of 2012. And it was the largest Indonesian nonsovereign bond ever. It was the first bond undertaken since its investment grade,” according to Asian-MENA Counsel.
- the US$3.5 billion financing of the Xayaburi hydroelectric power project in Laos; Asia-MENA Counsel noted: “The team of lawyers working behind the scenes on this deal broke ground as it was the first transaction of its kind to complete the compliance process under the 1995 Mekong River Agreement. This deal won acclaim for the ingenuity and perseverance that was needed to bring it to its conclusion.”
- the State of Qatar’s US$4 billion sukuk issuance, which Asia-MENA Counsel lauded for “its size as well as for achieving a significant milestone in the development of the sukuk market. On size alone, this formidable US$4 billion dual tranche sukuk was the largest US dollar-denominated sukuk issuance to date, and the largest sukuk deal that emanated from the Gulf last year. The five and 10 year tranches each amounted to US$2 billion. Given that it was the biggest ever international sukuk, this transaction set a benchmark both internationally and in the MENA region.”
- BGI-Shenzen’s US$117 million acquisition of Complete Genomic’s Inc, which was described as “landmark” and “the only deal of its kind in our list of winning deals,” leading Asian-MENA Counsel to comment: “Aside from the innovation involved, this deal also deserved commendation for the complex regulatory process that had to be surmounted in order to get the agreement finalized.”
- the US$8.5 billion Phase-1 financing of the APLNG project in Australia; “At US$8.5 billion, this staggering project finance deal was the largest ever greenfield energy endeavour in Australia,” said Asian-MENA Counsel.
Latham also advised on the initial public offering by Al Tayyar Travel Group and the Tier I sukuk issuance by Abu Dhabi Bank which were both awarded honourable mentions.
Commenting on the firm’s success in the awards, David Miles, Chair of the Latham & Watkins’ Asia Practice, said: “The firm’s continued success in this prestigious awards program reflects our strength and depth across corporate and finance practices and our position as the go-to firm for highly complex, innovative business transforming deals in Asia and the Middle East.”