Paul Hastings Advises WH Group on its HK$15 Billion Conditional Voluntary Share Buy-Back Offer
Hong Kong – Paul Hastings, a leading global law firm, announced today that the firm has advised WH Group Limited (Stock Code: 288.HK, Hang Seng Index Constituents) (“WH Group”) on its conditional voluntary cash offer to buy-back for cancellation. Morgan Stanley and BofA Securities, Inc. acted as the financial advisors.
WH Group will buy-back for cancellation, for up to 1,916,937,202 shares at HK$7.80 per share, representing approximately 13% of its total issued share capital, for approximately HK$15 billion (approximately US$1.92 billion). The offer is subject to, among other things, approvals by the independent shareholders and grant of whitewash waiver by the Securities and Futures Commission. The deal marks one of the largest share buy-back transactions in Hong Kong capital markets history.
WH Group is the world’s largest pork company, with global leadership across key segments of the industry value chain, including packaged meats, fresh pork and hog production.
Paul Hastings has advised WH Group for over a decade on a number of its significant transactions, including its US$6 billion internal restructuring via merger by absorption of Shuanghui Group in 2019, its US$2.36 billion Hong Kong IPO, and its US$1.5 billion term loan facility in 2014, as well as its landmark US$7.1 billion acquisition of Smithfield Foods, Inc. in 2013, marking one of the largest takeovers of a U.S. company by a Chinese buyer.
The Paul Hastings team was led by Raymond Li, global partner and Chair of Greater China practice and corporate partner Fang Pei, with support from associates Crystal Liu, Andy Tam and Jessica Lam, legal manager Sharon Guo and trainee solicitor Helen Cheung advising on the Hong Kong regulatory implications, and associate Jeff Lee and Hulka Lo advising on the financing aspect of the transaction.
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