Deal Watch 3/2/12

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Freshfields has advised Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. with their move to privatize Ltd, China’s biggest corporate e-commerce site. On February 21st, 2012 Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. bought out all of the shares of Ltd. that were not owned already. The entire share capital of is now $8.71 billion after this transaction.

On February 29th 2012, attorneys of Apple Inc. argued for iPad trademark rights in China. After a lower court ruled in favor of the Chinese tech company Proview Technology (Shenzhen), who claim to own the trademark in China, the Higher People’s Court of Guangzhou will hear an appeal by Apple Inc. The verdict of the higher court is usually final under Chinese law and sets a precedent for other cases in China’s lower courts. If the higher court doesn’t rule in favor of Apple Inc. there is still a chance for a final appeal in the Supreme People’s Court with application for a retrial but the chances of getting the final appeal are very low.

Part of the Blackstone Group’s continuous efforts to build upon its business in Asia, Ed Huang from Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia (MSPEA) was hired as their Managing Director for China to build up their private equity team in Asia. Blackstone Group is making China and Southeast Asia their investment focus in 2012 considering the expected consumer growth in these regions this year.

Over a year ago in July 2010, Wuxi Risheng Sports Utility Co., a ball making company in eastern China, registered professional basketball player Jeremy Lin’s trademark for $700. This is creating problems for this New York Knick’s player and his corporate partner Nike, with which he signed a three-year contract with in 2010.  In China, the first to register gets the rights to that trademark, and Risheng applied for this trademark to use for the same products that Nike produces: athletic apparel and sports equipment. Risheng is willing to sell this trademark but has not accepted any offers as of yet.

On February 21st, 2012 Rajah & Tann LLP advised GMG Global Ltd.  with their acquisition of 35% of Siat SA. This Belgian LLC, advised by Ebelius, specializes in the planting and producing of natural rubber and oil palm and owns various entities in Africa and engages in green field development in South and Central America, Asia, and Africa. GMG Global Ltd. is a Singapore based company involved in planting, growing, tapping, processing, and marketing natural rubber. The equity value of the transaction is approximately EUR 550.17 million. This acquisition is part of GMG Global Ltd.’s efforts to operate a globally integrated natural rubber supply business.



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