20 September 2007 – LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Mallesons Stephen Jaques’ Asian banking and finance practice has been recognised as a market leader by legal publication Asian Legal Business (ALB). In naming Mallesons as a finalist in the Hong Kong Banking Law Firm of the Year category at the upcoming ALB Hong Kong Law Awards, ALB said:
“Australian firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques has successfully transferred its banking and finance credentials to Hong Kong and is now firmly established in the top tier. Although much of its recent success is due to the hire of Steven Christopher from Linklaters, heavy-hitters such as Adrienne Showering and Richard Mazzochi have illustrated to banks and borrowers the necessary strength in depth.”
To arrive at the shortlist, ALB gathered peer nominations from a wide range of practitioners in the relevant jurisdiction.
The team’s regional expertise is also demonstrated by its recent deal list. In their most recent financing deal, the Mallesons banking team in Hong Kong advised luxury hotel group Mandarin Oriental Limited on its HK$3.5 billion (US$450 million) syndicated borrowing. Mallesons helped the borrower structure, negotiate and document a dual tranche secured transferable credit facility with a syndicate of 19 international banks.
The financing involved a sophisticated security structure which allows lenders to participate and retire from security arrangements using simple documentation. Lead partner on the deal Steven Christopher commented: “This common security trust structure is a technology Mallesons has been using to great effect in our REIT-backed property financings around the region. It works particularly well in jurisdictions where trusts are recognised.”
“Our increased finance capability has been in the region for a few years now and we are really starting to gain traction with a whole range of clients entrusting us with some fantastic deals to help them with.”
The deal follows on from Mallesons’ previous work for the Mandarin Oriental group. In July 2007, Mallesons’ banking and corporate teams in Hong Kong and London, led by Steven Christopher and Rowan Russell, assisted their client with a £85 million (US$127 million) secured financing and reorganisation of the group’s entire UK corporate structure.
Other recent keynote deals completed by Hong Kong banking and finance partners Steven Christopher, Richard Mazzochi and Adrienne Showering include:
acting as lead lawyers to Allco Finance Group in respect of the acquisition, debt and equity financing and lease-back of an Airbus A330 Aircraft for a Korean carrier;
acting as international counsel to the joint underwriters HSBC and UBS on the S$296.8 million (US$195 million) IPO of MacarthurCook Industrial REIT in Singapore; and
acting for Standard Bank on the US$100 million leveraged financing for the acquisition of furniture retailer Courts Singapore and Mammoth Malaysia by private equity investment vehicles, one of the few leveraged and private-equity led financings completed in South-East Asia.