Christopher W. Betts
Christopher Betts is a partner who primarily focuses on China-related capital markets matters, 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 has been named a leading lawyer for capital markets work in Hong Kong and China by Chambers Global, Chambers Asia-Pacific and IFLR 1000. He regularly publishes articles and presents on topics relating to Hong Kong listings, corporate governance and other matters.
Mr. Betts’ experience includes representing:
- 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;
- econtext Asia Limited, a Japan-based online payment services provider in its spin-off from Tokyo-listed Digital Garage, Inc. and approximately HK$516 million (US$66 million) initial public offering and listing of shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange;
- the underwriters on the Hong Kong IPOs of Air China, Beijing Capital Land, China Glass, China Hanking Group, China Mengniu Dairy, China Metal Resources, China Tianrui Cement, Kosmopolito Hotels, MediaNation, Sichuan Xinhua Winshare Chainstore, Sinotrans and Tianjin Port;
- Far East Horizon in 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) and subsequent US$371 million share placement;
- 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) in 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 in its US$1.8 billion global IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange;
- China Telecom in its US$10 billion acquisition of fixed line networks from China Telecommunications Corporation;
- China Telecom in its US$1.51 billion IPO and dual listing on the Hong Kong and New York stock exchanges (and the underwriters on the subsequent US$1.73 billion post-IPO global offering of H shares and ADRs by China Telecom to finance the acquisition of additional fixed line networks from China Telecommunications Corporation);
- Morgan Stanley, UBS and CICC as financial advisors in the US$8.2 billion acquisition of additional fixed-line networks by China Telecom from China Telecommunications Corporation;
- 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;
- 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;
- SCOR SE, the world’s fifth-largest reinsurance company, in its US$50 million cornerstone investment in the US$3.1 billion IPO of PICC Group;
- Recruit Holdings Co., Limited, the largest HR-related services company in Japan, in 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; and
Chengwei Capital, a China-based private equity fund, in its:
- co-investment with a U.S.-based investor in Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed Hengdeli Holdings Limited;
- HK$220 million sale of ordinary 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; and
- 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.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Betts was a partner in the Hong Kong office of another major international law firm and, before that, served as 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 15 years in China/Hong Kong. Mr. Betts speaks fluent Mandarin and is a professionally accredited translator of Chinese.
LL.B. (Hons), University of Melbourne, 1999
B.A. (Chinese), University of Melbourne, 1999