UK-BASED international firm Herbert Smith led a host of firms advising on the float of the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), which at US$19.1 ($24.6) billion, is the world’s largest IPO to date.
The law firm said ICBC was also the first company to list simultaneously on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges.
In Hong Kong, the offer received the largest ever number of applications from retail investors. The IPO was 70 times oversubscribed in the Hong Kong retail tranche and 30 times oversubscribed in the global institutional placement tranche.
“This record-breaking IPO … is a clear demonstration of how the Chinese financial sector is now the focus of increased interest from both local and international investors,” said lead partner Michael Fosh.
“This large and complex deal contained a number of unique challenges and further reinforces the strength of our capital markets team and our leading position in mainland China transactions.”
Prior to ICBC, the world’s biggest float was the US$18.4 ($23.9) billion IPO of Japanese telco NTT DoCoMo eight years ago.
As well as Fosh, Herbert Smith’s corporate team was included fellow partners Tommy Tong, Ashley Alder and Jeremy Xiao. They were assisted by Jason Sung, Katrina Shi and Huang Lixin. The banking team was led by Paul Lee with associates Boon Teck Yeo and Margie Chan.
Chinese firm King & Wood advised ICBC on Chinese law, while Davis Polk provided US law advice. Shearman & Sterling, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Haiwen & Partners advised the underwriters.