CC heads up Goldman's $2.3bn China bank share sale to Singapore fund

Clifford Chance (CC) and Linklaters have advised on a major Asian deal that will see Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek acquire shares worth $2.3bn (£1.5bn) in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) from Goldman Sachs.

The deal, announced last week (16 April), will see Temasek buy all of Goldman’s H-shares – shares listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange – taking its ownership of H-shares to 5.3% and its total stake in ICBC – the world’s largest bank by market value – to 1.3%.

CC is advising Temasek on the deal with a Hong Kong team lead by corporate finance partner Amy Lo and M&A partner Simon Cooke, while Hong Kong partner Mark Shipman is advising on regulatory aspects of the deal.

Goldman is understood to have used its in-house team and also instructed CC’s magic circle rival Linklaters for regulatory advice.

The deal marks a repeat instruction for CC from Temasek, which has consistently advised the state-owned fund on its investments in the increasingly buoyant Chinese banking market.

In 2005 the firm took the lead role on Temasek’s $6bn (£4bn) investment in China Construction Bank (CCB) and Bank of China, while it also represented the fund in 2009 as one of a number of buyers when Bank of America sold off CCB shares worth $7.3bn (£4.5bn). The firm’ Singapore team on the latter deal was led by M&A partner Ting Ting Tan.

Temasek’s portfolio now consists of 20% Chinese assets, including the stakes in ICBC, CCB and Bank of China in the banking sector.

The Asian Lawyer reports that the sale will help Goldman Sachs meet more stringent capital requirements introduced since it invested $2.58bn (£1.6bn) in ICBC in 2006, just before the Chinese bank’s record-breaking $19bn (£11.8bn) initial public offering.