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Christopher W. Betts

Partner

Partner

Corporate

Hong Kong

T: 852.3740.4827

F: 852.3910.4827

christopher.betts@skadden.com

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Christopher Betts primarily focuses on China-related capital markets, M&A transactions and general corporate advice.

Mr. Betts advises major corporations, investment banks and private equity funds on a broad range of corporate and securities matters such as listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (including Hong Kong depositary receipt listings, secondary listings, spin-offs and listings by companies with VIE arrangements), rights issues, share placements and other fundraising activities, takeovers, and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Betts also advises companies with respect to Hong Kong employment matters.

Mr. Betts has been named a leading lawyer for capital markets work in Hong Kong and China by Chambers Global, Chambers Asia and IFLR1000. He also was named one of Law360’s 2015 “Rising Stars” under 40 for capital markets.

In 2014 and 2015, Skadden received “Innovation in Finance Law” awards at the Financial Times’ Asia Pacific Innovative Lawyer Awards in recognition of our representation of the Hong Kong listings of Fast Retailing and Cogobuy Group, respectively. Mr. Betts was the lead partner for these two award-winning deals.

Mr. Betts’ experience includes representing:

Corporate Finance:

  • Morgan Stanley as sponsor on the proposed listing of China Hengshi Foundation Company Limited, a leading global supplier of fiberglass fabrics, on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange;
  • 3SBio Inc., a biopharmaceutical company in China, in its US$712 million initial public offering of shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange;
  • Morgan Stanley Asia Limited, Credit Suisse, CICC and China Renaissance as joint bookrunners on the US$538 million initial public offering and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of CAR Inc., China’s largest car rental company;
  • Fast Retailing, the Japan-based operator of the UNIQLO retail clothing brand, on its listing of Hong Kong depositary receipts on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the first listing under the joint policy statement on the listing of overseas companies issued by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Securities and Futures Commission;
  • Cogobuy Group, a leading e-commerce company with the largest transaction-based e-commerce platform for integrated circuit and other electronic components in China, on its US$177 million IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange;
  • Ourgame Holdings International Limited, the leading online card and board gaming company in China, on its US$107 million IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange;
  • China Maple Leaf Educational Systems Limited, China’s largest operator of private high schools, on its US$124 million IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange;
  • BNP Paribas Securities (Asia) Limited as sole sponsor and sole global coordinator on the HK$698.8 million global offering and listing of shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of China Metal Resources Utilization Limited, a copper recycler and producer of downstream copper products based in China;
  • econtext Asia Limited, a Japan-based online payment services provider on its spin-off from Tokyo-listed Digital Garage, Inc. and HK$516 million (US$66 million) initial public offering and listing of shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange;
  • Far East Horizon Limited on its US$371 million placing of new shares;
  • Deutsche Bank, BOC International, Bank of Communications and CCB International on the US$124 million global IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of China Tianrui Cement Group;
  • BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank on the US$147 million global IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of China Hanking Group;
  • Far East Horizon Limited on its issuance of RMB1.25 billion 3.9% “dim sum” bonds;
  • Deutsche Bank as placing agent on a proposed HK$1 billion placing by The Hong Kong Building and Loan Agency Limited;
  • Far East Horizon on its US$757 million global IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (awarded “Deal of the Year” 2011 by China Business Law Journal);
  • JP Morgan on the listing of Hong Kong Depositary Receipts on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by Vale S.A. (awarded “Equity Deal of the Year” for 2011 by IFLR);
  • a group of nine underwriters (including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch) on the US$9.2 billion global rights issue by China Construction Bank, the largest ever rights issue by an Asian issuer;
  • China Rongsheng Heavy Industries on its US$1.8 billion global IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange;
  • Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and RBS on the spin-off from Far East Consortium, US$153 million global IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of Kosmopolito Hotels;
  • Morgan Stanley as placing agent in relation to the US$100 million sell-down by Warburg Pincus International Partners, L.P. and Warburg Pincus Private Equity IX, L.P. of shares in Intime Department Store (Group) Company Limited;
  • BOCI on the global IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of Sichuan Xinhua Winshare Chainstore;
  • CLSA and ABN-Amro on the HK$1.08 billion global IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of Tianjin Port Development Limited, a spin-off from Tianjin Development. Up until 2011 this remained the most over-subscribed IPO in Hong Kong;
  • Guotai Junan on the IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of China Glass Holdings (an affiliated company of Lenovo);
  • CICC and Merrill Lynch on the US$1 billion global IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of Air China;
  • Morgan Stanley and BNP Paribas Peregrine on the US$203 million global IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of China Mengniu Dairy;
  • Morgan Stanley, UBS and CICC on the US$1.73 billion post-IPO global offering of H shares and ADRs by China Telecom;
  • Huaneng Renewables Corporation Limited, a leading pure-play renewable energy company in China listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, in its HK$1.55 billion (US$204 million) private placement of new H-Shares;
  • China Telecom on its US$1.51 billion IPO and dual listing on the Hong Kong and New York stock exchanges (including public offer without listing in Japan);
  • HSBC on the US$122 million global IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of Beijing Capital Land Limited;
  • BOC International and Credit Suisse First Boston on the US$503 million global IPO and HK listing of Sinotrans Limited;
  • Deutsche Bank on the US$80 million global IPO and listing on the GEM board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of MediaNation Inc.;
  • Nomura on the international placing and listing on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange of Global Depositary Receipts by Gigabyte Technology (and subsequent follow-on GDR offering);
  • China Unicom on its US$4.9 billion IPO and dual listing on the Hong Kong and New York stock exchanges;
  • Scor SE, the world’s fifth-largest reinsurance company, on its US$50 million cornerstone investment in the US$3.1 billion IPO of PICC Group; and
  • Chengwei Capital on its HK$400 million (US$52.8 million) placing of shares in Sunny Optical Technology (Group), Ltd., an optical components and instruments manufacturer listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, through Morgan Stanley as placing agent.

Mergers and Acquisitions:

  • Ourgame International Holdings Ltd., a leading online card games and board games company, in its US$35 million acquisition of Peerless Media Limited, the owner and operator of the World Poker Tour;
  • Ning Hao and Xu Zheng, Chinese film directors, in their US$88 million joint acquisition with a third investor of a controlling stake in 21 Holdings Limited (Hong Kong), a provider of property agency services. Mr. Hao and Mr. Zheng also entered into service agreements with 21 Holdings pursuant to which they have agreed to provide certain rights to their future films to 21 Holdings, which will be renamed Huanxi Media Group Limited;
  • shareholders of Luye Pharma Group Ltd. and Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group Ltd., two of the top four pharmaceutical companies in China, on their respective US$100 million and US$143 million sales of existing shares via placing agents;
  • Chengwei Capital, a China-based private equity fund, on its co-investment with a U.S.-based investor in Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed Hengdeli Holdings Limited;
  • Recruit Holdings Co., Limited., the largest HR-related services company in Japan, on the acquisition by its subsidiary RGF Hong Kong Ltd. of the remaining shares of Bo Le Associates Group Limited, Asia’s largest executive search company;
  • Digital Garage, Inc. (Japan), an online media company, in connection with the sale of shares in its subsidiary econtext Asia Limited (Hong Kong), a provider of secure online payment services, to three Japanese credit card issuing companies;
  • Chengwei Capital on its HK$220 million sale of shares in the share capital of Anton Oilfield Services Group, an oilfield service company in China, to Schlumberger Far East Inc., an oilfield services and equipment company listed on the New York stock exchange;
  • Warburg Pincus Asia in its US$200 million Series A preferred share investment in China Auto Rental Holdings Inc., the largest car rental company in China;
  • China Rongsheng Heavy Industries on its RMB2.15 billion conditional acquisition of the parent entity of Shanghai-listed Quanchai Engine;
  • Morgan Stanley, UBS and CICC as financial advisors on the US$8.2 billion acquisition of additional fixed-line networks by China Telecom from China Telecommunications Corporation;
  • China Telecom on its US$10 billion acquisition of fixed-line networks from China Telecommunications Corporation;
  • Morgan Stanley Private Equity on an equity investment in an Indian high-end property developer;
  • Morgan Stanley Private Equity on its acquisition of the Shama serviced apartment group in Hong Kong;
  • a private U.S. fund on the acquisition of a British Virgin Islands company, the principal asset of which was a hotel site in Macau;
  • a Beijing-based conglomerate on the proposed auction sale of a joint venture interest to various potential bidders;
  • a U.S.-based consumer products company in relation to the buyout of a contractual partner in its PRC operations; and
  • P&O Princess on a contested takeover offer by Carnival Cruises.

Other Matters:

  • various Hong Kong-listed companies on their ongoing Hong Kong reporting obligations, connected transactions, share option and other employee incentive schemes, and other ongoing legal and regulatory obligations;
  • the independent non-executive directors of Shanghai Land Holdings Limited in relation to their obligations as directors arising from litigation involving Chau Ching Ngai and the terms of a settlement arrangement with creditors; and
  • State Street Global Investors in annual compliance and disclosure obligations for the Tracker Fund of Hong Kong.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Betts was a partner in the Hong Kong office of a major international law firm and, before that, was associate general counsel for McKinsey & Company, advising on a broad range of legal and risk management issues across the Asia Pacific region. He began his career in the Hong Kong office of another major international law firm and has spent more than 16 years in China/Hong Kong. Mr. Betts speaks fluent Mandarin and is a professionally accredited translator of Chinese.

Bar Admissions

Hong Kong

Education

LL.B. (Hons), University of Melbourne, 1999

B.A. (Chinese), University of Melbourne, 1999

Languages

Mandarin Chinese