Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Clifford Chance have bagged lead roles in the proposed $800m IPO of China Literature, the e-publishing unit of Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent.
China Literature, which is one of the country’s largest online publishing and e-book company similar to Amazon Kindle, has sought out Skadden’s Hong Kong partner Julie Gao to provide Hong Kong and US legal advice on its proposed IPO.
Chinese firm Han Kun, fielding founding partner Charles Li and Shanghai partner Gao Chao, advised the issuer on PRC law. Maples and Calder was the Cayman Islands legal adviser.
Clifford Chance and Grandall acted for the joint sponsors, which consist of Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch Lynch and Morgan Stanley.
Clifford Chance’s team on the listing was led by China co-managing partner Tim Wang and Hong Kong partners Amy Lo and Fang Liu. Grandall’s team was headed by Shanghai partner Wu Xiaoliang.
Following the spin off and the IPO of China Literature, Tencent plans to hold at least 50 per cent of the stake in the company. Davis Polk & Wardwell represented Tencent in the spin off and the global offering as a shareholder.
Background to the deal
All firms acting on the China Literature IPO have worked with Tencent on numerous transactions as the technology company expanded globally via acquisitions and raised capitals to fund its growth.
Skadden, for example, acted for Tencent in its acquisition of China Jiuhao Health in 2015. It also acted as the counterparts’ counsel in several deals, such as advising 58.com in its acquisition by Tencent and advising JD.com in its $1.3bn share placement deal with Tencent.
Han Kun and Davis Polk acted for Tencent in its strategic partnership with JD.com.
Clifford Chance was previously involved in Tencent’s $2.5bn bond issuance in Hong Kong, acting for the underwriter Deutsche Bank. Davis Polk was the issuer’s counsel in that issuance.
Chinese firm Grandall, fielding Wu, advised Tencent in its acquisition of a stake in Chinese mapping service provider NavInfo in 2014.
Tencent Holding is listed in Hong Kong and has a sizable and highly regarded in-house legal department, which is led by general counsel Brent Irvin.
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