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Kirkland and Skadden lead on $710m Hong Kong float for selfie app Meitu

Kirkland & Ellis and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom have both advised on the planned $710m initial public offering (IPO) of Chinese tech group Meitu in a deal that will value the company at up to $5.2bn.

Meitu, which means ‘beautiful picture’ in Mandarin, highlights certain beauty characteristics for social media pictures and has more than 450 million monthly users.

The company will launch its float on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on 15 December in what is set to be the largest tech IPO since Alibaba raised $25bn in 2014.

The tech company was advised by Skadden corporate partners Christopher Betts and Julie Gao. Gao was a rare lateral move from Latham & Watkins in 2009, while rising star Betts joined from Paul Hastings in 2012.

Meitu was advised on PRC law by Beijing headquartered Jingtian & Gongcheng. Offshore firm Conyers Dill & Pearman also picked up a role advising on Cayman Islands law.

Kirkland advised the underwriting banks along with Chinese firm Global Law Office. The Kirkland team included Hong Kong corporate partners Dominic Tsun (pictured), Li-Chien Wong, David Zhang and Judy Yam and Beijing-based Steve Lin. The IPO underwriters include Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and China Merchants Securities.

Also on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, earlier this year Postal Savings Bank of China raised $7.4bn, the world’s second biggest IPO in two years. US firm Davis Polk & Wardwell advised the bank, while local firm Haiwen & Partners acted as Chinese counsel on the deal.

Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance advised the underwriters, while King & Wood Mallesons acted as Chinese counsel.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba floated on the New York Stock Exchange two years ago, raising $25m and raking in $15.8m in legal fees for firms including Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Sullivan & Cromwell.