Baker McKenzie recently advised Spring REIT on its successful defense against the HK$5.7 billion (US$730 million) unsolicited takeover bid by Hong Kong-based private equity firm PAG Real Estate, who had sought to acquire a controlling stake of Spring REIT.

Baker McKenzie fielded a multi-disciplinary team for the deal including Partners Milton Cheng and Christina Lee, Foreign Registered Lawyer Jeremy Ong and Special Counsel Emmy Lo, all based in Hong Kong.

Milton Cheng, Managing Partner of Baker McKenzie's Hong Kong office, said, "It has been a privilege advising Spring REIT on its successful defence against PAG's unsolicited takeover. This deal highlights Baker McKenzie's unique ability to offer not only market-leading REIT expertise, but also top-tier corporate finance expertise, particularly since unsolicited takeover bids are comparatively rare in Asia. "

Jeremy Ong added, "Our REIT team continues to act on groundbreaking deals, advising on the most novel and challenging REIT transactions and matters. We congratulate our friends at Spring REIT on their successful takeover defense and wish them continued success."

Baker & McKenzie's Asia-Pacific REIT Group has been at the forefront of ground-breaking REIT transactions in Asia.  The team has been involved in almost all of the significant transactions to date involving REITs which are listed or have assets in Hong Kong.  The Group's work includes advising REITs across the full spectrum of their legal requirements including IPOs, follow-on acquisitions and disposals, equity and debt capital markets exercises, takeover defence and licensing/regulatory matters. Hong Kong based clients of the Group include Spring REIT, Link REIT, Champion REIT, Yuexiu REIT, Prosperity REIT, Fortune REIT, Hui Xian REIT and Regal REIT.

The team has also advised on numerous other significant REIT-related deals in the Asia-Pacific – including National Storage REIT’s equity raising; Charter Hall Retail REIT’s placement in ASX; Keppel REIT’s establishment of Australian investment structures; Parkway Life REIT’s acquisition of two properties in Japan; CDL Hospitality Trusts / M&C REIT Management acquisition of two hotels in Japan; Starhill Global REIT on the acquisition of the landmark David Jones retail center in Perth; the establishment of Impact Growth REIT in Thailand; Prospect REIT Investment Corporation's merger with Japan Rental Housing Investments Inc.; the establishment and IPO of Tower REIT in Malaysia; the IPOs and listings of both the Fubon No. 1 and No. 2 REITs in Taiwan; the formation and IPO of MacarthurCook Industrial REIT in Singapore; Tokyo Growth J-REIT’s IPO; the IPO and listing of ARA Asset Management in Singapore; and YTL Corporation’s acquisition of interests in Macquarie Prime REIT (now known as Starhill Global REIT).

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