Baker McKenzie is acting as Hong Kong and US law counsel to China Merchants on the successful global offering and listing of China Merchants Commercial REIT ("CMC REIT") on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange today, being the first Hong Kong REIT listing since 2013 and the first Hong Kong REIT listing by a PRC state owned enterprise since 2006.
CMC REIT will primarily invest in commercial properties in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), Beijing and Shanghai, with its initial portfolio comprising five properties in Shekou, Shenzhen with an aggregate value of RMB 6.68 billion.
Baker McKenzie fielded a multi-disciplinary and cross-office team for the deal including Jeremy Ong, Head of Baker McKenzie's Asia-Pacific REIT Practice, partners Ivy Wong, Dorothea Koo and Karen Man, counsel Grace Fung and associates Isaac Yeung, William Cho and Karen Wong.
Commenting on the deal, Jeremy Ong said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to act for our client China Merchants on this significant offering. With the enormous potential that the Greater Bay Area presents, we hope this offering encourages other GBA-based developers to list in Hong Kong, and in doing so, boost the critical mass, liquidity and international competitiveness of the Hong Kong REIT market."
Ivy Wong, Chair of Baker McKenzie's Asia-Pacific Capital Markets Practice, added: "This deal is definitely catching attention as it is the first REIT listing under the new sponsor regime. As a full service firm, we are best positioned to work with the regulators and provide the necessary support to our clients. This deal is a manifestation of the depth and breadth of our capacity and capability, involving our REIT, capital markets and financial services regulatory teams and various overseas offices."
Baker McKenzie's Asia-Pacific REIT Practice has been at the forefront of ground-breaking REIT transactions in Asia. The Practice has been involved in almost all significant transactions to date involving Hong Kong-listed REITs, including their IPOs, follow-on acquisitions and disposals, equity and debt capital raisings, takeover defence and licensing/regulatory matters. Hong Kong based clients of the Practice include Link REIT, Champion REIT, Yuexiu REIT, Spring REIT, Prosperity REIT, Fortune REIT, Hui Xian REIT and Regal REIT. The Practice has also advised on other significant REIT-related deals in the Asia-Pacific.