Allens Arthur Robinson acted for Australasian brewer Lion Nathan in the sale of its Chinese beer business to China Resources Breweries (CRB) for US$154 ($214.06) million.
The company was also advised by Caliburn Partnership, and Mallesons Stephen Jaques.
Completed late last month, Lion Nathan said the sale price in the deal represented a premium to the book value of Lion Nathan China of around $120 million. CRB is a joint venture between the Hong Kong-listed China Resources and SAB Miller.
Prior to the sale, Lion Nathan conducted a “strategic review” of the competitiveness of its Chinese assets. Apart from a sale, the company considered two other options: increasing the scale of the business through acquisition and joining the consolidation of the Chinese market through a merger or joint venture.
“Having considered all these options, Lion Nathan concluded that this sale was the best outcome for Lion Nathan shareholders especially given the capital and profit risk associated with remaining in China,” said Lion Nathan CFO Jamie Tomlinson.
The company will use the proceeds to reduce its debts.
AAR had a team of lawyers from its Shanghai, Hong Kong and Sydney offices working on the deal, led by partner Jeremy Low in Shanghai.
The Shanghai and Kong Kong practices provided strategic advice, coordinated the due diligence process and drafted transaction documents throughout the bid process. The firm said that although the transaction involved the sale of companies “at the Hong Kong level”, the primary focus was on the operating companies incorporated in mainland China.
The competitive bidding for Lion Nathan’s business was conducted through an online virtual dealing room, which was set up and managed by AAR’s Sydney office. The firm said this was an important contributor to the success of the deal.