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 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:
- the underwriters on the Hong Kong IPOs of Air China, Beijing Capital Land, China Glass, China Hanking Group, China Mengniu Dairy, 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 on its US$1.8 billion global IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange;
- China Telecom on its US$10 billion acquisition of fixed line networks from China Telecommunications Corporation;
- China Telecom on 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 on the US$8.2 billion acquisition of additional fixed-line networks by China Telecom from China Telecommunications Corporation;
- 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, on its US$50 million cornerstone investment in the US$3.1 billion IPO of PICC Group;
- Chengwei Capital on its 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
- 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.
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.
Speeches and Presentations
Faculty Member, “Corporate & Securities Law in Hong Kong,” Practising Law Institute, Hong Kong, April 19, 2013
LL.B. (Hons), University of Melbourne, 1999
B.A. (Chinese), University of Melbourne, 1999
“Watch What You Tweet,” China Business Law Journal, March 2013