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

Bio

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 secondary listings, spin-offs, listings by companies with variable interest entity arrangements and Hong Kong depositary receipt listings), 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, 2015 and 2016, Skadden received innovation awards at the Financial Times’ Asia Pacific Innovative Lawyer awards in recognition of our representation of the Hong Kong listings of Fast Retailing, Cogobuy Group and 3SBio Inc., respectively. Mr. Betts was the lead Hong Kong partner for each of these three award-winning deals.

Mr. Betts’ experience includes representing:

Capital Markets:

  • Xiaomi Corporation (China) in its US$5.4 billion initial public offering and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. This is the first-ever Hong Kong offering to adopt a dual-class share structure and the first to list under Hong Kong’s new regime for innovative technology companies;
  • BeiGene, Ltd. (China) in its US$903 million IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. This is the Hong Kong’s largest-ever biotechnology IPO to date and is also the first-ever dual primary listing of a Nasdaq-listed biotechnology company;
  • E-House (China) Enterprise Holdings Ltd. in its US$591 million Hong Kong IPO;
  • VCREDIT Holdings Limited in its US$153 million Hong Kong IPO;
  • China Education Group Holdings in its US$430 million Hong Kong IPO;
  • ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co., Ltd. in its US$1.525 billion Hong Kong IPO, which was the world’s first “insuretech” public offering and the largest technology IPO in Hong Kong in 2017;
  • China Literature Limited in its spin-off from Tencent Holdings Limited (China), via a US$1.06 billion Hong Kong IPO. This deal was named Best IPO for 2017 by FinanceAsia magazine and Equity Deal of the Year for 2017 at the IFLR Asia Awards 2018;
  • Yixin Group Limited in its spin-off from Bitauto Holdings Limited (China) via a US$870 million Hong Kong IPO;
  • Meitu, Inc. in its US$630 Hong Kong IPO;
  • China YuHua Education Corporation Limited in its US$198 million Hong Kong IPO, subsequent US$120 million capital raising and US$218 million acquisition of Hunan International Economics University from Laureate Education;
  • Guangdong Kanghua Healthcare Co., Ltd. in its US$114 million Hong Kong IPO;
  • 3SBio Inc. in its US$819 million Hong Kong IPO;
  • Fast Retailing, the Japan-based operator of the UNIQLO retail clothing brand, in 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 in its US$177 million Hong Kong IPO;
  • Ourgame International Holdings Limited in its US$107 million Hong Kong IPO;
  • China Maple Leaf Educational Systems Limited in its US$124 million Hong Kong IPO, the first-ever education IPO in Hong Kong;
  • Far East Horizon in its US$757 million Hong Kong IPO, which was awarded Deal of the Year 2011 by China Business Law Journal; and subsequent US$371 million placing of new shares;
  • JP Morgan on the listing of Hong Kong Depositary Receipts on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by Vale S.A., the first-ever Hong Kong Depositary Receipt listing and awarded Equity Deal of the Year for 2011 by IFLR;
  • econtext Asia Limited in its US$66 million Hong Kong IPO and spin-off from Tokyo-listed Digital Garage, Inc.
  • China Rongsheng Heavy Industries in its US$1.8 billion Hong Kong IPO;
  • China Telecom in its US$1.51 billion IPO and dual listing on the Hong Kong and New York stock exchanges;
  • China Unicom in its US$4.9 billion IPO and dual listing on the Hong Kong and New York stock exchanges;
  • the underwriters/sponsors in the following transactions:
    • the US$408 million Hong Kong IPO of Hope Education Group Co., Ltd.;
    • the US$107 million Hong Kong IPO of Wisdom Education International Holdings Company Limited;
    • the US$135 million Hong Kong IPO of Modern Dental Group Limited;
    • the US$47 million Hong Kong IPO of Sinco Pharmaceuticals Holdings Limited;
    • the US$538 million Hong Kong IPO of CAR Inc., China’s largest car rental company;
    • the US$69 million Hong Kong IPO of China Hengshi Foundation Company Limited;
    • the US$90 million Hong Kong IPO of China Metal Resources Utilization Limited;
    • the US$124 million Hong Kong IPO of China Tianrui Cement Group;
    • the US$147 million Hong Kong IPO of China Hanking Group;
    • the US$9.2 billion global rights issue by China Construction Bank, the largest-ever rights issue by an Asian issuer;
    • the spin-off from Far East Consortium and US$153 million Hong Kong IPO of Kosmopolito Hotels;
    • the US$274 million Hong Kong IPO of Sichuan Xinhua Winshare Chainstore;
    • the US$135 million Hong Kong IPO of Tianjin Port Development Limited, a spin-off from Tianjin Development;
    • the Hong Kong IPO of China Glass Holdings (an affiliated company of Lenovo);
    • the US$1 billion global IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of Air China;
    • the US$203 million Hong Kong IPO of China Mengniu Dairy;
    • the US$1.73 billion post-IPO global offering of H shares and American depositary receipts by China Telecom;
    • the US$122 million Hong Kong IPO of Beijing Capital Land Limited;
    • the US$503 million Hong Kong IPO of Sinotrans Limited;
    • the US$80 million Hong Kong IPO of MediaNation Inc.; and
  • the proposed listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of China Chunlai Education Group, China Renaissance Holdings, Meituan-Dianping and Zhaogang.com (each acting for the issuer) and STX Entertainment (acting for the joint sponsors).

Mergers and Acquisitions:

  • Auchan Retail S.A. in Alibaba’s US$2.88 billion investment in Auchan’s Hong Kong-listed subsidiary Sun Art Retail Group Ltd, and a strategic alliance between Auchan, Alibaba and Ruentex Group;
  • Yixin Capital Limited, a subsidiary of Bitauto Holdings Limited, in a US$587 million strategic investment by Bitauto, Tencent Holdings Limited, China Orient Asset Management Co., Ltd. and Wei Wang. All parties are based in China;
  • Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. in its proposed, but terminated, unsolicited acquisition of Yingde Gases Group Company Limited (Hong Kong);
  • Tencent Holdings Limited, as part of an investor group including Huayi Brothers and other investors, in its US$69 million acquisition of a 51 percent interest in China Jiuhao Health Industry Corporation Limited;
  • Capital Environment Holdings Limited in its US$230 million acquisition of a 51 percent stake in BCG NZ Investment Holdings Limited, which owns and operates the largest waste management business in New Zealand;
  • the controlling shareholders of Ourgame International Holdings Limited in the US$178 million sale of a 29 percent stake to Beijing iRena Culture Co., Ltd.;
  • 3SBio Inc. in its:
  • US$214 million acquisition of Shanghai CP Guojian Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.; and
  • US$85 million acquisition of Zhejiang Wansheng Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.;
  • Global Brands Group Holding Limited in its:
  • US$130 million acquisition of substantially all of the assets of PS Brands, LLC; and
  • joint venture with CAA Brand Management, LLC to form one of the world’s largest global brand management companies;
  • Ourgame International Holdings Limited, a leading online card games and board games operator, 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;
  • 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, 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;
  • 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 in its RMB2.15 billion conditional acquisition of the parent entity of Shanghai-listed Anhui Quanchai Engine;
  • 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;
  • China Telecom in its US$10 billion acquisition of fixed line networks from China Telecommunications Corporation; and
  • P&O Princess in a contested takeover offer by Carnival Cruises.

Other Matters:

  • various Hong Kong-listed companies in 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 nearly 20 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, 2013-2017

Credentials

Education

  • LL.B.(Hons), Melbourne Law School, 1999
  • B.A. (Chinese), University of Melbourne, 1999

Admissions

  • Hong Kong

Languages

  • Mandarin