Clifford Chance acts on UK’s largest GDR offering in six years

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International firm Clifford Chance has advised Chinese securities group Huatai Securities on its offering and listing of global depositary receipts (GDRs) representing its Shanghai-listed A shares on the London Stock Exchange.

Huatai Securities has existing equity listings in Shanghai and Hong Kong and is the first Chinese company to sell GDRs representing its shares in London. The transaction is the first to be conducted under the new Shanghai-London “Stock Connect” scheme, which will directly link the Chinese and European capital markets by providing fungibility between London and Shanghai listed securities.

The offering is expected to raise proceeds for the Huatai Securities of at least US$1.538bn and up to US$1.692bn if the deal is upsized pursuant to the exercise of an over-allotment option. The transaction is the largest GDR offering in the UK since 2013 and the largest international offering by a Chinese financial institution since Postal Savings Bank of China's US$8 billion IPO in 2016.

The Clifford Chance team was led by partners Amy Lo in Hong Kong, Jean Thio in Shanghai, and Iain Hunter in London, along with specialist advice from China co-managing partner Tim Wang in Shanghai and co-head of China desk Maggie Zhao in London. The partners were supported by counsel Corey Zhang, associates Emma Bao and Tao Yang in Hong Kong, and senior associate James Spencer and associate James Koessler in London.

"We are proud to advise Huatai Securities on this landmark listing, which paves the way for global investors and companies to access the UK's and China's capital markets,” said Lo. “I am particularly proud of how seamlessly our teams worked across borders to bring this momentous transaction to fruition."