In a significant addition to its longstanding Asia and Hong Kong securities practice, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP announced that corporate and capital markets adviser David Kuo has joined the firm as a partner in its Hong Kong office.
Mr. Kuo represents Chinese companies and other high-yield issuers and underwriters on a wide variety of debt- and equity-linked capital markets transactions—including high-yield, investment-grade, RMB, convertibles and corporate hybrids. He also counsels on liability management exercises, including debt restructuring, tender offers and exchange offers.
Mr. Kuo also regularly advises on a wide range of cross-border mergers and acquisitions, business combinations and private equity transactions.
Fluent in Mandarin, Mr. Kuo is a registered solicitor in Hong Kong and admitted to the California State Bar. He joins Milbank from the Hong Kong office of Allen & Overy, where he was a partner.
One of the first US firms to open a Hong Kong office, in 1977, Milbank has long been one of the leading international firms in Asia, with offices now in Tokyo, Beijing, Singapore and most recently, Seoul, Korea, which opened in January. Milbank has handled transactions involving virtually every Asian country, with a strong focus on China, India, Korea, and Southeast Asia. The firm’s experience is well recognized in numerous sectors including power and energy, telecommunications, financial services, technology, and infrastructure and water.
Milbank Chairman Scott Edelman said, “Our Hong Kong office remains a key location for the firm’s capital markets, finance and corporate work across Asia and the Pacific Rim, and we’re excited to add David Kuo to our bench. He has a long and impressive record handling large transactions, inbound and out of the region, making him an ideal fit with our Asia practice.”
Mr. Kuo’s noteworthy transactions include:
- Advising Bank of China International, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and UBS, as joint global coordinators, and other banks on the dual currency and dual tranche offering by CNOOC Curtis Funding No. 1 Pty Ltd. for US$1.3 billion senior notes due 2023 and €500 million senior notes due 2023, both guaranteed by China National Offshore Oil Corp.;
- HSBC, The Royal Bank of Scotland and J.P. Morgan as lead underwriters in the US$300 million offering of 9.5% senior notes due 2017 issued by Yanlord Land Group Limited, a property company listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, as well as lenders in a US$400 million syndicated loan to the same company;
- Ule Group Holdings, an e-commerce company and a joint venture between China Post, a Chinese stated owned enterprise, and TOM Group Limited, a Hong Kong listed media company, on its pre-IPO financing by strategic and financial investors;
- Barclays Bank PLC, as sole manager on the bifurcated tender offer and consent solicitation for 21Vianet’s RMB1 billion bonds, to be funded by the concurrent offering of new RMB2 billion bonds. This is the first tender offer effected for bonds traded over Hong Kong’s Central Moneymarkets Unit system;
- China Automation Group, a safety systems supplier listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, on its debut issue of US$200 million high-yield bonds.
- Jinchuan Group Limited, one of the largest global base metal producers, on its approximately US$1.36 billion unsolicited takeover of Metorex Limited, a South African producer of copper and cobalt based on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed, by way of a scheme of arrangement; and,
- Blackstone, Capital International, Carlyle Group, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and PGGM on various private equity transactions in China.
Singapore-based partner David Zemans, Managing Partner of Milbank’s Asia practice, noted Mr. Kuo’s considerable breadth of transactional experience. “We look forward to leveraging David’s extensive skill set and track record as we continue to expand our Asia platform. Hong Kong is a key destination for work in capital markets, leveraged finance, M&A, corporate restructurings and other transactional areas.”
Mr. Kuo said of his move, “I’ve long been aware of Milbank’s stature as one of the leading transactional firms in Hong Kong and in Asia and its reputation for handling high-level financing and corporate transactions. I’m pleased to bring my experience to the firm and hope to continue building on its success as a top capital markets and corporate adviser in Asia.”
Mr. Kuo earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School and undergraduate degree, in Political Science and International Relations, from UCLA.
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