IFLR 1000 (2015)
Banking and finance – Tier 3
Capital markets – Tier 3
Energy and infrastructure – Tier 1
Mergers and acquisitions – Tier 4
Christopher Lee – Banking, M&A, Project finance
Shemane Chan – Energy and infrastructure: Project development
Energy and infrastructure
2013 signified a year of expansion and the fine-tuning of its presence in Malaysia for corporate firm Christopher & Lee Ong. The firm was formed from the 3party-merger of Christopher Lee & Co, Lee Ong & Kandiah and Kamilah & Chong, which was formally announced on July 1 2013, and has since gone into association with Singapore-based regional firm Rajah & Tann. “Christopher Lee and his team are superbly efficient and provide brilliant advice and suggestions and recommendations,” says a client.
Last year, the firm has been predominantly active in the areas of corporate, banking and finance, capital markets. In the latter area, power and renewable, as well as social infrastructure and transport-related matters are at the forefront. Peers recognise this firm for its outstanding energy work. It continues to build on its relations with the Energy Commission of Malaysia, Syarikat Prasarana Negara and Sun Edison, who are key clients.
Managing partner Christopher Lee and partner David Ong Chan Tong are key partners at the firm’s energy and resources and corporate practices. Christopher Lee is well known in Malaysia’s legal circle and has amassed high praise from peers and clients, especially when it concerns the power industry and his prowess in IPP (independent power project)and project finance work. The team is strengthened by the support of partner Shemane Chan –a construction and projects attorney – based in Singapore with Rajah & Tann.
Corporate matters of late included the joint venture deal between Sime Darby Healthcare and Ramsay Health Care of Australia. The firm acted for Sime Darby, which aimed to inject its Malaysian healthcare assets into the joint venture. Ramsay will do the same with its Indonesian assets. Also for Sime Darby in an ongoing case, Christopher & Lee Ong was legal counsel to the company who was borrower in a project financing deal. This pertains to the obtained financing for funding of the construction of an education hub as part of a private finance initiative (PFI). The deal value was RM1.6billion ($489.8million). In a Vietnam-related development deal, Christopher Lee represented Janakuasa on its $1.5 billion project, which involved two 600MW coal-fired thermal power facilities at the Duyen Hai Power Complex in the Tra Vinh province. Recently, the firm was involved in the reverse takeover of Vastalux Energy and listing of Barakah Offshore Petroleum on the Bursa Malaysia, and the competitive bidding processes for new power generation capacities in the country for the Energy Commission of Malaysia.
Financial and corporate
The product of a three firm merger in July 2013, Christopher & Lee Ong is a full-service firm that went the extra mile in expanding its network by tying up with Singapore law Rajah & Tann the same year.
During the time of the merger, partner Fiona Sequerah advised Sime Darby Healthcare on financing secured from a syndicate of lenders. The firm is also active on the Islamic banking side and advised Sime Darby Ainsdale Development on Islamic financing facilities secured from Bank Muamalat
In the capital markets the firm is advising Singaporean arranger, Maybank Kim Eng Securities, in the matter of a proposed sukuk (Islamic bond)issuance by Vallianz Capital. On the equity side Christopher Lee and Fiona Sequerah represented AirAsia X on its IPO. Yon See Ting, also assisted Eurosports Auto in its IPO on the Singapore Catalist Stock Exchange, making it the first Catalist IPO in Singapore of 2014.
The firm’s objective to grow the M&A practice is evidenced in its involvement with the substantial joint venture between Sime Darby Healthcare and Ramsay Health Care of Australia;the acquisition of Noah Ventures of Teliti Data Centres and its refinancing;the joint venture between Malayan Banking and Volkswagen Financial Services;and the establishment of the Hong Kong-Malaysia Business Association by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
Another highlight deal for the firm is private equity partner Kuok Yew Chen’s work on Synnex’s acquisition of the CRM component of IBM in Malaysia. Elsewhere Lee teamed up with partner David Ong to advise Barakah Offshore Petroleum on its reverse takeover of Vastalux Energy towards the end of 2013.