IFLR1000's selection of deal announcements from February 2016 has a clear Asian flavour with two substantial Chinese bids for European based companies in the forms of ChemChina's pitch for Syngenta and Beijing Enterprise Holding's acquisition of German energy company EEW Energy.

There are also developments in the Asian energy and infrastructure space with the refinancing of a Philippine light rail project, the development of the Thar Block II mine project in Pakistan and the financing of telecom network expansion in Myanmar.

Away from Asia we feature a copper plant refinancing in the Congo, a Polish dual listed IPO, an LNG project in Ghana and a groundbreaking RMBS deal undertaken by Virgin Money.

If you have any public deal announcements you would like us to take into account for our reports please send them to - sduke@iflr1000.com

I should also mention that in April 2016 we will be launching the first Beta model of our new Deals Database, which will include searchable and filterable data on the most significant legal transactions from around the globe, all of our featured monthly deals will be included along with many more garnered from the IFLR1000's own research, press releases and other deal announcements.

More information on the database and how law firms can submit their deals for consideration will appear in the next few months.

Sam Duke - Editor


Mergermarket table 1 - Law firms by global M&A deal value

Mergermarket table 2 - Law firms by global M&A deal volume


Deal 1: Beijing Enterprises Holdings €1.44 billion acquisition of EEW Energy

Beijing Enterprises has acquired Swedish private equity house EQT's German portfolio company Waste to Energy (EEW) for €1.44 billion.

The deal represents the largest direct acquisition by a Chinese company in Germany. The transaction values the company at almost 10 times its annual revenue.

EQT sold EEW through an auction between the eventual buyer and three other selected bidders: a consortium of China Tianying and Ping An, a consortium of Beijing Capital and Steag, and Fortum. The deal is the second German acquisition by a Chinese company to exceed $1 billion after ChemChina-led group bought KraussMaffei for $1 billion in January.

The financial advisers on the deal were Morgan Stanley (EQT) and Lazard and UBS (Beijing Enterprises).

Clifford Chance and P+P Pöllath + Partners acted for EQT as international and local counsel respectively.

Mayer Brown’s offices in Munich and Hong Kong collaborated to represent the acquirer.

Ben Naylor - EMEA Editor


Deal 2: ChemChina $43 billion bid for Swiss agribusiness company Syngenta

State-owned ChemChina has made a $43 billion bid to buy Swiss agribusiness company Syngenta.

The deal is set to become largest ever overseas acquisition by a Chinese company, more than double the previous largest acquisition - CNOOC's $17.7 billion purchase of Canada's Nexen in 2012. The transaction is a setback for US seed company Monsanto, who bid $45 billion unsuccessfully for Syngenta last year.

In March, ChemChina bought Italian tiremaker Pirelli, underscoring the company’s interest in Europe.

The deal will be closely scrutinised by US regulators as a quarter of Syngenta’s sales come from North America.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Homburger acted for ChemChina.

Davis Polk & Wardwell and Bär & Karrer acted for Syngenta.

Adam Majeed - Asia-Pacific Editor


Deal 3: Kipoi Copper Project $162.5 million refinancing

Tiger Resources has refinanced the Kipoi Copper Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Australian ASX listed mining company has issued a $162.5 million senior debt facility with the IFC and Taurus Mining Finance Fund.

The investment allows the mine to refinance its existing debt, and also allows for a $25 million expansion to increase its production capacity. The senior debt is secured by Tiger Resource entities in the DRC, BVE, Australia, South Africa and Mauritius. The company also raised $22 million using equity capital measures.

Tiger Resources purchased the mine from the state of DRC in August 2015 for $111 million.

A Norton Rose Fulbright team led by partners from its Perth and Melbourne offices, as well as Houston, Johannesburg and Paris, advised Tiger Resources through the deal.

John Crabb - Journalist EMEA


Deal 4: Light Rail Transit 1 (LRT1) P24 billion Cavite Extension project

The Philippines-based Light Rail Manila (LRMC) has received a 15-year P24 billion omnibus loan and security agreement for the development of the Light Rail Transit (LRT1) Cavite Extension project.

The funding, which equals to around $505 million, was backed by several major Philippines banks including Metropolitan Bank & Trust, Rizal Commercial Banking and Security Bank.

The LRT 1 project, with a total cost of approximately P65 billion ($1.4 billion), will maintain the existing oldest elevated railway LRT Line 1 and build an 11.7 km extension from the current end point at Baclaran, Pasay City to the Niog area in Bacoor, Cavite.

LRMC is jointly owned by Metro Pacific Light Rail, Ayala's AC Infrastructure Holdings and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings.

Shearman & Sterling acted for LRMC for the transaction led by Singapore-based partner Bill McCormack.

Candy Chan - Journalist Asia-Pacific


Deal 5: Ooredoo Myanmar $300 million telecoms development finance facility

A Myanmar-based telecommunications provider Ooredoo Myanmar has received a total of $300 million in development finance to build telecom services in the country.

The loan was provided jointly by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which each invested $150 million into the fund.

Only seven out of every 100 people of the 53 million population had access to mobile phone coverage in 2013.

The fund will support infrastructure related to the full range of fixed, mobile and data services across Myanmar.

Mayer Brown JSM team acted for the lenders with Benjamin Thompson leading alongside senior associate Rohan Bilimoria.

Candy Chan - Journalist Asia-Pacific


Deal 6: Sandoz acquisition of Pfizer’s infliximab business

Sandoz, the generic pharmaceutical division of Novartis, has acquired the rights to develop and sell infliximab in all EEA countries from Pfizer.

Infliximab is a biosimilar - a drug designed to have similar properties to one that has already been licensed - used to treat inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.

Pfizer's divestment of infliximab was a condition imposed on the company by the European Commission when it granted approval for the Israeli group's $15 billion takeover of Hospira, which previously held the rights to infliximab, last year.

A team from Latham & Watkins split between offices in the Germany, the US and Brussels, including Charles Ruck, Martin Neuhaus, Harald Selzner, Sven Völcker, Judith Hasko and Christoph Engeler, represented the acquirer.

Lawyers from Clifford Chance's branches in Brussels, Dusseldorf and New York, including Christoph Holstein, Moritz Pöschke, Benjamin Sibbett, Daryl Fairbairn and Anastasios Tomtsis, advised Pfizer. 

Ben Naylor - EMEA Editor


Deal 7: Saudi Electricity Company $2 billion syndicated finance facility

Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has borrowed $2 billion in two tranches - a US dollar conventional syndicated loan and a Saudi-Riyal denominated Islamic facility.

The international tranche, a syndicated loan totaling $1.4 billion, was coordinated and led by The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Mizuho Bank, JPMorgan, Crédit Agricole and Deutsche Bank.

The SAR2.5 billion Islamic trance, which was structured as a revolving murabaha (deferred sale) facility, was provided by The National Commercial Bank and Samba Financial Group. 

A team from Clifford Chance in Riyadh led by Mohamed Hamra-Krouha and including Kola Balogun, Bilal Rana, Yasser Al-Hussain, Mazin Al Zamil and Sahal Khalawi advised the lenders.

Allen & Overy represented SEC.

Ben Naylor - EMEA Editor


Deal 8: Tema $550 million LNG plant

Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and Quantum Power have signed terms for the construction and operation of a landmark LNG project at Tema, Ghana.

The project is valued at $550 million, and is the first of it's kind in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The terminal will provide capacity for the storage, regasification and delivery of around 3.4 million tons of LNG per day.

The project will operate on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis.

Baker Botts advised Quantum Power.

King & Spalding represented Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.

John Crabb - Journalist EMEA


Deal 9: Thar Block II mine project

A consortium led by state-owned Chinese banks will lead $2 billion worth of funding for the construction of a coal mining project and associated power plant in southeastern Pakistan.

To develop Thar Block II mine project, state-owned China Machinery Engineering has formed a joint venture with the Government of Sindh, Karachi-based power company, Engro Powergen, Pakistani engineering company, Thal, and power producer Hub Power and Habib Bank, the largest bank in Pakistan.

China Machinery, Engro Powergen and Habib Bank teamed up with textile company Liberty Mills on building two 330 MW coal-fired power stations. The power plant is expected to be put in use in 2018.

A consortium of 13 banks led by state-owned China Development Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Pakistan’s Habib Bank have agreed to provide $2 billion financing in dollar, Pakistani rupee and Islamic shariah-compliant tranches.

These projects were signed last year in April during Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a series of $46 billion worth infrastructure projects in Pakistan funded by Chinese investors.

Linklaters acted for the lender consortium, with Hong Kong partner Stuart Salt and Beijing partner Xiaohui Ji leading the team; and Pakistani firm Vellani & Vellani acted for the lenders on local law.

Pinsent Masons acted for China Machinery and other sponsors, with Singapore partner David Platt and Shanghai partner Amanda Yao taking the lead.

Karachi-based firm Haidermota BNR served as Pakistani counsel to the borrowers.

Adam Majeed - Asia-Editor


Deal 10: Virgin Money $1.3 billion RMBS

Virgin Money has closed a $1.3 billion multicurrency RMBS deal - Gosforth Funding 2016-1.

The deal has dollar, euro and sterling tranches and is AAA rated.

Citi and Lloyds are acting as arrangers with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank acting as joint lead managers.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer acted for the arrangers

CMS Cameron McKenna advised Virgin Money as Scottish counsel.

This deal was selected as IFLR magazine's February 2016 deal of the month. Read further analysis here:

Sam Duke - Editor


Deal 11: Work Service dual listed (LSE/WSE) IPO

Work Service, a Polish staffing and human resources agency has undertaken a Zl771 million dual listed IPO on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and the LSE.

The deal represents the first time a Polish company has listed directly on the LSE instead of using depositary receipts and is the first time an HR company has listed in Warsaw.

Work Services works with over 3000 companies in 12 countries across Europe.

Kochański Zięba & Partners and Pinsent Masons acted for Work Service.

Wierzbowski Eversheds advised Capita IRG Trustees.

Sam Duke - Editor


Deal 12: Suramericana $614 million acquisition of Royal & Sun Alliance Latin America business

Medellín-based Suramericana has acquired Royal & Sun Alliance's (RSA) businesses in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay for $614 million.

Closing in each jurisdiction is still subject to regulatory approval, but the transaction is expected to wrap up by the end of 2016. RSA undertook the deal in order to focus on its more profitable assets in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia and Canada.

The sale will allow Suramericana to expand its presence in the region and enter the Mexican and Brazilian markets, where it previously had no presence.

“If you want to say that you have a regional business in Latin America, you must be in Brazil. That would represent at least 50% of the whole regional market,” said Demarest Advogados partner Gabriel Kuznietz when asked about Suramericana's motives. Kuznietz also points out that the deal could signify a larger trend of regional Latin American corporations investing in local countries highlighting Bradesco’s acquisition of HSBC’s Brazilian assets as an example.

Linklaters, Argentina’s Pérez Alati Grondona Benites Arntsen & Martínez de Hoz, Brazil’s Demarest Advogados, Chile’s Claro & Cia, Columbia’s Posse Herrera Ruiz, Mexico’s Creel García-Cuéllar Aiza & Enríquez and Uruguay’s Guyer & Regules advised RSA.

Hogan Lovells, Argentina’s Allende & Brea, Brazil’s Cascione Pulino Boulos & Santos Advogados, Chile’s Larraín Rencoret & Urzúa, Columbia’s Esguerra Barrera Arriaga Miranda Piquero González & Jaramillo, Mexico’s Mijares Angoitia Cortes & Fuentes and Uruguay’s Arcia Storace Fuentes Medina Abogados advised Suramericana.

Rani Mehta - Journalist Latin America