2012 Marks A Banner Year For Weil In Asia

Monday, January 21, 2013 - 10:41

Weil, Gotshal & Manges finished 2012 on a high in Asia, working with its global and regional clients on their investments, acquisitions and joint ventures in the region. This work received considerable recognition in 2012:

  • Weil was the #1 legal advisor as ranked by Bloomberg for Asia-Pacific private equity deals announced in 2012 (based on value). Weil's market share was 23 percent, representing over $20 billion in deal value in the region;
  • Weil was also the #1 legal advisor for Asia-Pacific (ex-Japan) private equity buyouts in 2012 as ranked by Mergermarket (based on value);
  • Weil was ranked in the top five of legal advisors for M&A for Asia Pacific (Ex-Japan), and had high rankings for each of China, South Korea, Australia/New Zealand, India and Hong Kong (as ranked by Bloomberg, all by deal value);
  • International Financial Law Review (IFLR) named Weil its private equity law firm of the year for Asia for 2012 (for the second year running) and nominated Weil for its M&A law firm of the year in Asia for 2013;
  • Chambers & Partners selected Weil as its private equity international law firm of the year in China. Chambers also gave Weil its highest ranking (Band One) for Private Equity in both Asia-Pacific and China, and also for RMB Fund Formation in China;
  • Legal 500 and Asian Legal Business gave Weil its highest ranking (Band One) for its private equity practice (Hong Kong) and Corporate/M&A practice (China) respectively; and
  • Private Equity International (PEI) nominated Weil for its law firm of the year in Asia for both its transactional practice and its fund formation practice.

The firm advised on a diverse array of Asia deals in 2012, being some of the highest-profile and most innovative of the year. These include representing AMC in its $2.6 billion sale to the Dalian Wanda Group; Shanda’s Special Committee in Shanda’s $2.3 billion going-private merger; Baring Private Equity Asia in its acquisition of a stake in Kyobo Life Insurance (part of Daewoo's $1.1 billion sale of its Kyobo shares); Lion Capital in the £1.2 billion sale of a controlling stake in Weetabix Food Company to Bright Food Company, one of China's largest food companies; and GE in its global transmission and distribution partnership with XD Electric.

“We are deeply thankful to all our clients who have supported us in 2012. Corporates and private equity firms in Asia continue to need bespoke legal services throughout the region. With our platform and the quality of our attorneys, we are well positioned to further grow our leading regional private equity and M&A practices,” said Akiko Mikumo, Weil’s managing partner in Asia.

Weil has one of the deepest benches of senior transactional lawyers in the Asia market. The team includes seven leading transactional private equity and M&A partners, and leading private funds and leveraged finance practices. Weil’s China team was recently further bolstered by the arrival of Li Li to its Beijing office. Ms. Li has more than 20 years of experience working with major international law firms in New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing and, in recent years, has been involved in a number of high-profile outbound M&A transactions involving PRC companies.

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Li Li has joined Weil’s Beijing office as a partner in the Mergers & Acquisitions practice group.

“Ms. Li brings a wealth of experience in M&A and other transactions involving Chinese companies,” said Weil Executive Partner Barry M. Wolf. “She will be a force in the further growth of our Beijing office.”

Ms. Li has more than 20 years of experience working with major international law firms in New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. In recent years, she has been involved in a number of high-profile outbound M&A transactions involving PRC companies. She will work closely with Steven Xiang, head of Weil’s China practice, and the rest of the China-based M&A team.

“Li Li will play a key role in our outbound China M&A practice. Chinese outbound M&A transactions have grown from $30 billion in 2007 to nearly $80 billion in 2011 and we expect our China M&A practice to be engaged by an increasing number of Chinese companies doing deals outside of China,” commented Akiko Mikumo, managing partner for Asia. “This past year Weil was involved in the Wanda-AMC deal, the Yahoo sale back to Alibaba and Bright Food’s acquisition of Weetabix. With Li Li joining us, we will be able to address the needs of our Chinese clients even more comprehensively.”