Tim Gardner


Tim Gardner
Tim Gardner is the Managing Partner of the Hong Kong office and a partner in the Firm’s Corporate department. Tim focuses exclusively on private equity and mergers & acquisitions and regularly advises global, pan-Asia and local private equity sponsors and corporate clients on a wide array of complex and cross-border transactions in the Asia-Pacific region.

At the forefront of the private equity market in Asia, Tim’s recent accolades include:

  • “Band 1 – Private Equity: Buyouts & VC Investment – China” Chambers Asia-Pacific 2021-2023
  • Asia Top 15 M&A Lawyers – Asian Legal Business 2023
  • “A-List” lawyer – China Business Law Journal 2022
  • “An elite private equity deal lawyer” Chambers Asia-Pacific
  • “A great lawyer with a genuine private equity pedigree, who is regularly at the forefront of the most significant mandates.” Legal500

Tim has been consistently recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers Asia-Pacific, Legal 500 Asia Pacific and IFLR1000 Asia-Pacific. As one of the very few Band 1 lawyers in China’s Private Equity space, Tim has earned a reputation from clients as “technically incredibly strong and commercially savvy”, “extremely hands-on, very detail-oriented and yet also capable of delivering commercial, pragmatic advice”, and “very thoughtful and efficient and especially good at executing complicated transactions on tight timelines."

Tim has extensive experience in private and public acquisitions, leveraged and management buyouts, going private transactions, recapitalizations, joint ventures, PIPEs and other financings, minority investments and divestitures across a range of industries, including consumer, technology, healthcare, education, industrials and financial services.

Tim has represented many leading private equity funds, other financial sponsors, and corporates including Advent International, Alibaba Group, Baring Private Equity Asia, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI), Canadian Solar, FountainVest Partners, Hillhouse Capital, MBK Partners, Oaktree Capital, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, PAG, Primavera Capital, Providence Equity Partners, Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP), and TPG Growth and TPG Capital, among others.

Selected transactions on which Tim has advised include:

  • Audit and Risk Committee of Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited (MRE) (NASDAQ: MLCO) in substantial share repurchases by MRE from its controlling shareholder, Melco International Development Limited (HKSE:0200)
  • Baring Private Equity Asia and its portfolio companies in multiple matters, including (1) the sale of China headquartered HCP Packaging, a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of cosmetics packaging, to The Carlyle Group, (2) the acquisition of Radius Group, a provider of international corporate expansion and administration services, from HG Pooled Management Ltd., (3) the $300 million acquisition by Baring and CITIC Capital of Wall Street English from Pearson PLC, (4) the leveraged buyout of HCP Packaging from TPG Capital, (5) the S$450 million leveraged buyout of Interplex Holdings Ltd. (SGX: INTP), a global supplier of mechanical and electro-mechanical components and (6) the acquisition of WCL Group Ltd, an operator of British schools in North America, the Middle East and Europe
  • Mr. Rick Yan (CEO of 51job) and an investor consortium comprising Mr. Yan, DCP Capital Partners II, L.P., and Ocean Link Partners Limited, in the $4.3 billion take-private of 51job, Inc. (NASDAQ: JOBS). The transaction was awarded 2022 TMT Deal of the Year at ALM (Asian Lawyer) Asia Legal Awards, 2022 Deal of the Year – Large Cap at AVCJ Asia PE & VC Awards, and 2021 Deal of the Year by China Business Law Journal
  • Gores Guggenheim, Inc. (NASDAQ: GGPI, GGPIW), a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by affiliates of The Gores Group and Guggenheim Capital, in its $20 billion business combination with Polestar Performance AB, the global electric performance car company
  • Mr. Michael Yao (Founder, Chairman and CEO of 58.com) and the consortium in the $8.7 billion take-private of 58.com (NYSE: WUBA), China’s largest online classifieds marketplace, by a consortium including Mr. Yao, Warburg Pincus Asia LLC, General Atlantic Singapore Fund Pte. Ltd., and Ocean Link Partners Limited. The transaction was awarded Private Equity Deal of the Year at the Mergermarket China M&A Awards 2020 and Venture Capital/Private Equity Deal of the Year at the FinanceAsia Achievement Awards 2020
  • TPG in multiple matters, including (1) as part of a consortium led by Singapore Life Pte. Ltd. in the consortium’s $2 billion acquisition of Aviva Singapore, a licensed provider of health and general insurance, a trust platform and financial advisory services, from AVIVA International Insurance Limited, (2) the acquisition by TPG Capital Asia, TPG Growth and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan of up to 35% of Dream Cruises Holding Limited, a premium brand, Asian-sourced passenger cruise line with an enterprise value based on the transaction of $3.3 billion, from Genting Hong Kong Limited (HKSE: 0678), the largest cruise operator in the Asia Pacific region. The transaction was awarded M&A Deal of the Year at the Asian Legal Business Hong Kong Law Awards 2020 and (3) the combination of Apollo Towers with Pan Asia Majestic Eagle Limited to create the largest telecommunications tower company in Myanmar
  • MBK Partners in multiple matters, including (1) its acquisition of a 20.86% stake in CAR Inc. (HKSE: 0699), China’s largest car rental service provider, (2) the $2.2 billion (including debt) take-private of CAR Inc. by way of a voluntary general offer (the transaction was the second-largest privatization in China during 2020 and was named 2021 Private Equity Deal of the Year at Mergermarket China M&A Awards), (3) as part of a consortium with Mr. Ray Zhang, The Crawford Group (parent company of the Enterprise, National and Alamo brands), Ctrip Investment Holdings and Ocean Link Partners, in the consortium's $1.75 billion (including debt) take-private of eHi Car Services Ltd. (NYSE: EHIC), a leading car rental service provider in China (The transaction was awarded M&A Deal of the Year at the IFLR Asia-Pacific Awards 2020 and The Macallan Asian Legal Business Hong Kong Law Awards 2019), (4) the acquisition of a controlling stake in Wendu Education Group, the largest provider of National Graduate Entrance Examination tutoring services in China and (5) the acquisition of a controlling stake in Siyanli, the fifth largest high-end beauty spa and medical beauty service provider in China
  • The consortium of minority equity investors in Dream Cruises Holding Limited, a premium brand, Asian-sourced passenger cruise line, in connection with the multi-jurisdictional restructuring of Dream Cruises Holding Limited and its parent company Genting Hong Kong Limited, involving $2.6 billion in debt and $700 million in new money
  • Advent International in the acquisition of a controlling interest in BioDuro, a global life sciences contract research and development organization (CRO) with operations in San Diego, Beijing and Shanghai
  • The Rohatyn Group in the sale of Franchise Services Asia, the holding company for BHC Group, a leading Korean franchise restaurant chain with a menu centered on fried chicken, to a consortium including MBK Partners Special Situations and Hyun Jong Park, the CEO of BHC
  • Alibaba Group in multiple matters, including (1) Lazada South East Asia Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) (a portfolio company of Alibaba Group) in its significant minority investment in TNG Digital Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia) (d/b/a Touch ‘n Go), one of the largest e-wallet operators in Malaysia, (2) the $2 billion acquisition of Kaola, a Chinese cross-border e-commerce platform, from dual-listed Chinese gaming giant, NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES; HKSE: 9999) (the transaction was awarded TMT Deal of the Year at the China Law & Practice Awards 2020), (3) the acquisition of Daraz, an online marketplace operating in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and a portfolio company of Rocket Internet, the German internet incubator, (4) the primary and secondary purchase of shares in Bilibili, Inc. (NASDAQ: BILI; HKSE: 9626), a leading online entertainment company in China, (5) the $1 billion merger of 58 Suyun, the freight business unit of China’s largest online marketplace, 58 Home Group, and Hong Kong freight online platform GoGoVan, (6) a $300 million Series A equity financing round for 58 Daojia Inc., a subsidiary of 58.com, alongside KKR and Ping An Group and (7) the acquisition of Ejoy Technology, a developer and operator of an online gaming platform
  • Oaktree Capital in connection with the merger of Fitness First Asia, an owner and operator of a chain of fitness clubs across Asia, with Celebrity Fitness (a portfolio company of Navis Capital Partners), creating one of the largest fitness club networks in Asia. The transaction was awarded M&A Deal of the Year at the Asian Legal Business Southeast Asia Law Awards 2018
  • Hillhouse Capital in multiple matters, including (1) a $101 million PIPE investment in China Biologic Products (NASDAQ: CBPO), a top five plasma producer in China, and the subsequent $4.76 billion take-private of the company by a consortium that also included CITIC Capital and Centurium Capital and (2) as part of a consortium that also included FountainVest Partners and SEEK Ltd., an Australian public company, in the consortium’s $1 billion take-private of Zhaopin Limited (NYSE:ZPIN), an operator of an online recruitment platform in China
  • Special Committees of the Boards of Directors of Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ), a solar power company, and Sinovac Biotech (NASDAQ: SVA), a leading provider of biopharmaceutical products in China, in connection with the evaluation of take-private proposals submitted by their Chairmen
  • Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in multiple matters, including the acquisition of a minority interest in Jasper Infotech, which operates Indian online shopping site Snapdeal
  • Boyu Capital, as a member of a consortium including Ally Bridge Group Capital Partners and Dr. Ge Li, chairman and CEO of WuXi PharmaTech (NYSE: WX), a global contract R&D services provider serving the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, in the consortium's $3.3 billion take-private of WuXi PharmaTech
  • FountainVest Partners in the leveraged buyout of Michigan-based Key Safety Systems, the fourth largest supplier of passive safety systems to the auto industry. The transaction was FountainVest’s first acquisition outside of Asia
  • Primavera Capital in multiple matters, including (1) as part of a consortium with FountainVest Partners and The Carlyle Group in the proposed $1.9 billion privatization of Shanda Games Ltd. (NASDAQ: GAME), a leading online game developer, operator and publisher in China, (2) the privatization of Chemspec International Ltd. (NASDAQ: CPC), a specialty chemicals company operating in China and (3) with Khazanah Nasional Berhad, a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, the purchase of $400 million of preferred stock in Alibaba, in connection with the financing of Alibaba’s share repurchase from Yahoo!
  • 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

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