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Paul Hastings advises Softbank on its acquisition of a majority interest in Alibaba Japan

June 12, 2008

Shanghai, June 12, 2008 Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, a leading international law firm, announced today that it has advised Softbank on its acquisition of a majority interest in Alibaba.com Japan Co., Ltd., the operator of a Japanese language based Ecommerce website. The website was established by Alibaba.com Limited, a Hong Kong Stock Exchange listed company focused on business-to-business E-commerce.

The US$20 million investment gives Softbank a majority interest in the joint venture. This transaction involved complex structural and tax issues encompassing Japan, Hong Kong and China, for which Paul Hastingss expertise across such jurisdictions was utilized. Alibaba Japan will continue to operate the Japanese-language online marketplace website in cooperation with other Alibabas business-to-business websites globally.

Paul Hastings acted as outside general counsel for Softbank, a major Japanese telecommunications and internet provider, and a long standing client of the firm. Paul Hastings has previously advised Softbank on a range of projects including the successful sale of 500 million euros (approximately US$625 million) of high-yield senior notes.

The Paul Hastings team was led by Corporate Partner Toshiyuki Arai assisted by associates Yukiko Masuda, Jia Yan, Maniko Lim, Masahiro Tanabe, Ruixue Zhou, Wanda Wan and Barbara Tsai.

Paul Hastings internationally ranked M&A practice in Asia has been acknowledged by the market and our peers, with awards and transactions including:

  • Awarded Law Firm of the Year in Asia 2007 and 2006 at the Global Private Equity Real state Awards by Private Equity Real Estate.

  • Awarded Asian Law Firm of the Year 2007 by Private Equity International.

  • Ranked 4th by for value of deals in Asia in 2007 by M&A Asia.

  • Awarded Best Malaysia Deal of the Year 2007, for the firms work on the Maxis leveraged buyout transaction, Southeast Asia's largest-ever privatization by Asset and FinanceAsia. This transaction has also been awarded Best Domestic M&A Deal of the Year 2007 by FinanceAsia.

  • Awarded Deal of the Year 2007, for the firms work on the Maxis Leveraged Buyout transaction and the acquisition of Mirants Power business in Philippines by Marubeni-TEPCO, and further five honorable mentions for deals spanning China, Japan and Korea by Asian Counsel.

  • Nominated for eight awards, including International Law Firm of the Year, M&A Team of the Year, Securitization Team of the Year, Project Finance Team of the Year, M&A Deal of the Year, Securitization Deal of the Year at International Financial Law Reviews 2008 Awards.

  • Awarded Deal of the Year Award 2006, for the firms work on Wal-Marts sale of its Korean retail operations, JBICs financing of the Tangguh LNG project in Indonesia and the financing of the Vodafone/Softbank deal in Japan by Asian Counsel.

  • Representing Wal-Mart in its US$875 million tender offer in Japan to acquire all shares in Seiyu Ltd.

  • Representing China COSCO, one of the world's largest container shipping lines, in its US$4.6 billion acquisition of the world's largest bulk carrier fleet, from a number of different subsidiaries of China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (the parent of China COSCO).

  • Representing Shineway Industry Group, one of the largest meat processors in China, in the corporate restructuring of its meat processing business which involved the acquisition by Goldman Sachs and CDH of the state-owned equity interest in the business and then the merger of that interest with other equity interests in the business. This deal was listed as one of China's top 10 M&A deals of 2006 by the China M&A Association and Global M&A Research Centre.

  • Representing Wal-Mart in its acquisition of 35% interest in Bounteous Company Ltd (BCL), which operates approximately 100 hypermarkets in China under the "Trust- Mart" banner. As a result of the acquisition, Wal-Mart will operate one of the largest hypermarket store chains in China with 173 stores in 36 Chinese cities.

  • Representing Sumitomo Corporation in its ground-breaking onshore acquisition of PRC state-owned non-tradeable shares in Henan Topfond Pharmaceutical Company, one of the China's largest state-owned pharmaceutical companies. This was the first time a foreign strategic investor has acquired shares in a PRC state-owned listed company using an onshore structure and involving share reform (the requirement to convert illiquid shares into tradeable shares).

Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, founded in 1951, is a leading international law firm with over 1,200 attorneys in 18 offices. The firm serves a diverse client base including many of the leading global financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies and offers deep capabilities in capital markets, finance and restructuring, intellectual property, international arbitration and dispute resolution, investment management, labor and employment, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, product liability, project finance, real estate, securities litigation and tax advisory services. For additional information, please visit our website at

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