Chris Welty

Biography

William Welty
Chris Welty is a partner in the Corporate Department of the Firm’s Hong Kong office. Chris represents public and private companies, private equity sponsors, and financial advisors in connection with corporate and transactional matters, including cross-border and multi-jurisdictional mergers and acquisitions, leveraged and managed buyouts, going private transactions, growth investments, consortium transactions, exits and joint ventures.

In connection with his M&A/PE practice, Chris also advises clients on general corporate and securities laws matters, including reporting requirements, corporate governance issues, defensive measures, and other strategic considerations.

Chris has been ranked in the “Up and Coming” section for Corporate/M&A by Chambers Asia-Pacific, recognized as a “Rising Star” by IFLR1000 Asia-Pacific, selected as an “Asia Future Leader” by IFLR and named a “Next Generation Partner” for Private Equity by Legal 500 Asia Pacific. Chambers noted that he “wins praise from clients for his ‘insightful knowledge of precedent transactions and attention to detail’”. Before moving to Hong Kong, Chris worked in Weil’s New York office and was also seconded to work as in-house counsel at Panasonic Corporation in 2008-2009.

In recent years, Chris has acted on some of the largest and most high profile M&A and private equity transactions in the Asia Pacific region, including the following:

  • Mr. Jinbo Yao (Founder, Chairman and CEO of 58.com) and the consortium in the $8.7 billion acquisition of 58.com, China’s largest online classifieds marketplace, by a buyer consortium, consisting of Mr. Yao, Warburg Pincus, General Atlantic, Ocean Link Partners and Internet Opportunity Fund, in a take-private transaction, which was awarded Private Equity Deal of the Year by IFLR Asia-Pacific Awards 2021, Private Equity Deal of the Year at the Mergermarket China M&A Awards 2020, Venture Capital/Private Equity Deal of the Year at the FinanceAsia Achievement Awards 2020 and Deal of the Year by China Business Law Journal 2020
  • Morgan Stanley, as financial advisor to the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of DouYu International Holdings Limited, in connection with the proposed $10 billion merger of equals between DouYu and Huya Inc, which was awarded Deal of the Year 2020 by China Business Law Journal
  • MBK Partners together with a consortium including Mr. Ray Zhang, The Crawford Group, Inc., Ocean Link Partners and Ctrip Investment Holdings in the $1.75 billion (including debt) take-private of eHi Car Services Ltd., the second largest car rental company in China, which was awarded M&A Deal of the Year at the IFLR Asia-Pacific Awards 2020 and M&A Deal of the Year at The Macallan Asian Legal Business Hong Kong Law Awards 2019
  • Baring Private Equity Asia and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in the $4.3 billion take-private of Nord Anglia Education Inc., one of the world’s leading operators of international schools
  • Baring Private Equity Asia in multiple matters, including (1) the $3 billion take-private of Giant Interactive Group, one of China’s leading online game developers and operators, which was awarded Private Equity Deal of the Year at the IFLR Asia-Pacific Awards 2015, Private Equity Deal of the Year at the China Law & Practice Awards 2014 and Take Private Deal of the Year 2014 by China Business Law Journal, (2) the acquisition of HCP Packaging, one of the world’s leading primary packaging companies for cosmetic products, from TPG Capital and (3) as a consortium member in the take-private of Noah Education Holdings Ltd.
  • Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor (“TZS”) as sponsor investor in the approximately $1 billion sponsored spin-off of Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd, the non-US solar panel and solar cell manufacturing operations of SunPower Corporation, a designer, manufacturer and marketer of high-performance solar electronic power technologies, with TZS investing $298 million for an approximately 29% stake in Maxeon
  • Alibaba Group in multiple matters, including (1) the $2 billion acquisition of Kaola, a Chinese cross-border e-commerce platform, from NetEase, which was awarded TMT Deal of the Year at the China Law & Practice Awards 2020, (2) the acquisition of Daraz, an online marketplace operating in South Asia from Rocket Internet, the German internet incubator and (3) its primary and secondary purchase of shares in Bilibili, Inc., a leading online entertainment company in China
  • Naked Group in the sale of its co-working business, naked Hub, with operations in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Australia, to WeWork for approximately $400 million
  • SoftBank Vision Fund in its $2 billion investment in Coupang, one of South Korea’s largest online retailers
  • The Rohatyn Group in the sale of Franchise Services Asia, the holding company for BHC Group, a leading Korean restaurant franchise
  • Oaktree Capital in the combination of Fitness First Asia (an Oaktree portfolio company) with Celebrity Fitness (a portfolio company of Navis Capital Partners) to create one of the largest fitness club networks in Asia, which was awarded M&A Deal of the Year at the Asian Legal Business Southeast Asia Law Awards 2018
  • Boyu Capital, as a member of a consortium including Ally Bridge Group Capital Partners and Dr. Ge Li, founder, chairman and CEO of WuXi PharmaTech, a global contract R&D services provider serving the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, in the consortium's $3.3 billion take-private of Wuxi, which was awarded TMT Deal of the Year at the China Law & Practice Awards 2016 and Take Private Deal of the Year 2015 by China Business Law Journal
  • Special Committees of the Boards of Directors of Canadian Solar Inc., a Nasdaq-listed solar power company, and Sinovac Biotech, a leading provider of biopharmaceutical products in China, in connection with the evaluation of take-private proposals submitted by their Chairmen
  • HNA Group in (1) its $6.5 billion acquisition of an approximate 25% equity interest in each of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., Park Hotels & Resorts Inc. and Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. from Blackstone and (2) the approximately $6 billion acquisition of Ingram Micro Inc., a NYSE-listed IT logistics and solutions provider
  • The Carlyle Group in connection with the acquisition by 58.com of a strategic interest in Falcon View Technology Limited, the holding company of the PRC entities operating Ganji.com, a major online local services marketplace platform in China
  • Citigroup, as financial advisor to the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Trina Solar Limited, in connection with Trina Solar’s $1.1 billion going-private acquisition by a consortium
  • Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Shanda Interactive Entertainment Limited in its $2.3 billion going-private sale to Premium Lead Company Limited, a company owned by Shanda executives, in one of the largest take-private transactions of a US-listed Chinese business
  • General Electric on a number of significant matters, including with respect to the sale of its interests in GE Capital’s joint ventures with Hyundai Motor Company in South Korea, Hyundai Capital Services, a provider of consumer financial products, and Hyundai Card Co., an issuer of credit cards
  • General Growth Properties in its $8 billion recapitalization and spinoff of The Howard Hughes Corporation
  • Sanofi in its $1.9 billion acquisition of consumer health care company Chattem, Inc.
  • Florida Rock Industries in its $4.6 billion acquisition by Vulcan Materials Company

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