Freshfields advises on world’s largest public offering in 2019 to date
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (‘Freshfields’) has advised China International Capital Corporation Hong Kong Securities Limited and Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) Limited, the Joint Sponsors, and the syndicate comprising 27 underwriters of the global offering and secondary listing of Alibaba Group Holding Limited (‘Alibaba’) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The US$11.3bn transaction (before any exercise of the over-allotment option) represents a number of ground-breaking milestones. As well as being the world’s largest public offering of the year to date, it was the first ever public retail offering in Hong Kong to use a fully electronic application process, and the first ever secondary listing of qualified companies under Chapter 19C of the Hong Kong Listing Rules.
The listing follows Alibaba’s successful 2019 Singles Day shopping festival, in which a record US$38.4bn worth of goods were sold in 24 hours. The Hangzhou-based e-commerce giant was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014. The homecoming listing in Hong Kong was welcomed by investors, who oversubscribed the retail portion by more than 40 times. Trading in the shares commenced today (26 November 2019).
This year, Freshfields has also advised on Hong Kong’s second largest IPO by Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Limited and the third largest by ESR Cayman Limited.
The Freshfields team advising on the Alibaba transaction was led by partner and China Chairman Teresa Ko, with support from partners Calvin Lai, Jason Xu, Valerie Ford Jacob and counsel Jeremy Barr. The core team was also supported by partners Royce Miller, Michael Levitt, and Asia co-head of financial services Matthew O’Callaghan.
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