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Dealwatch: Freshfields acts for Deutsche Bank as it sells ¥25.7bn of Chinese assets

After winning a place on Deutsche Bank’s global legal panel last year, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is representing the German bank on the sale of ¥25.7bn of its Chinese assets.

The firm has advised the German banking giant on the sale of its stake in Chinese financial institution Hua Xia Bank, which is set to raise nearly $4bn.

Under the terms of the transaction, Deutsche Bank will sell its entire 19.99% stake in Hua Xia to Chinese insurer PICC Property and Casualty Company for between ¥23bn and ¥25.7bn ($3.54bn and $3.96bn), subject to final price adjustment at closing. PICC Property and Casualty Company was advised by Linklaters with a team led by Beijing Corporate partner Pui Hong Chik. 

Freshfields’ team was led by corporate partners Melissa Thomas and Alan Wang based in Shanghai, and Heiner Braun in Frankfurt.

In 2010, Freshfields advised Deutsche Bank on the increase of its stake in Hua Xia, from 17.12% to 19.99%, the maximum single foreign ownership level permitted by regulators at the time. The German bank had a stake in Hua Xia since 2006. 

Freshfields was among several firms awarded positions as Deutsche Bank’s go-to advisers after the bank finalised its global legal panel in July last year. Allen & Overy, Hogan Lovells, White & Case, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Latham & Watkins were also named on the panel which divides the firms regionally between Europe, the Middle East and Africa; the US; and Asia.

In April last year Deutsche Bank was fined £1.7bn for Libor rigging and suffered a fall in profits after setting aside litigation expenses of €1.5bn in the first quarter of that year. Its litigation reserves were €4.8bn at the end of the fourth quarter of 2014.