Tim Gardner is a partner in the Firm’s Corporate department and the Managing Partner for the Hong Kong office. Mr. Gardner focuses on private equity and mergers & acquisitions. He advises clients on a wide array of cross-border transactions in the Asia-Pacific region. He 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.
His practice spans a variety of sectors, including financial institutions, technology, media and telecom, consumer/retail, and healthcare/life sciences.
Mr. Gardner has been consistently recognized as a leading transactional lawyer by Chambers and The Legal 500 and is recognized as a “highly regarded” lawyer for Private Equity and Corporate/M&A by IFLR1000. Chambers noted that Mr. Gardner “is praised by market sources for demonstrating impressive skills while dealing with clients on complex private equity deals.” The Legal 500 describes Mr. Gardner as “a great lawyer with a genuine private equity pedigree.” IFLR has noted that Mr. Gardner is “extremely commercial while maintaining high technical capabilities. He has a good feel for the deal dynamics and parties involved.”
Mr. Gardner has represented many leading private equity and corporate clients including Advent International, Alibaba Group, Baring Private Equity Asia, Canadian Solar, FountainVest Partners, Hillhouse Capital, MBK Partners, Oaktree Capital, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, PAG, Primavera Capital, Providence Equity Partners, TPG and Vistra, among others.
Selected transactions on which Mr. Gardner has advised include:
- MBK Partners in multiple matters, including as part of a consortium with Mr. Ray Zhang, Baring Private Equity Asia, The Crawford Group and Dongfeng Asset Management, in the consortium's pending $938M take-private of eHi Car Services Limited, a provider of car rental and car services in China
- Baring Private Equity Asia in multiple matters, including (1) the acquisition by Baring and CITIC Capital of Wall Street English from Pearson, (2) the leveraged buyout of HCP Packaging, a designer and manufacturer of primary packaging containers for the cosmetics, skincare and fragrance industries, from TPG Capital, (3) the S$450M leveraged buyout of Interplex Holdings Ltd., a global supplier of mechanical and electro-mechanical components listed in Singapore and (4) the acquisition of WCL Group Ltd, an operator of British schools in North America, the Middle East and Europe
- Alibaba Group in multiple matters, including (1) 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, (2) the $1B merger of 58 Suyun, the freight business unit of China’s largest online marketplace 58 Home Group, and Hong Kong freight online platform GoGoVan and (3) a $300M Series A equity financing round for 58 Daojia Inc., the 58 Home subsidiary of 58.com, alongside KKR and Ping An Group
- 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
- Hillhouse Capital in multiple matters, including as part of a consortium that also included FountainVest Partners and SEEK Ltd., an Australian public company, in the consortium’s $1B take-private of Zhaopin Limited, an operator of an online recruitment platform in China
- TPG in multiple matters, including as one of the lead investors in an equity financing round by Uxin Group, a leading online and offline auction and trading platform for used cars in China
- Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board 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, founder, chairman and CEO of WuXi PharmaTech, a global contract R&D services provider serving the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, in the consortium's $3.3B take-private of WuXi PharmaTech
- FountainVest Partners in the leveraged buyout of Michigan-based Key Safety Systems, Inc., 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 $1.9B privatization of Shanda Games Limited, a leading online game developer, operator and publisher in China, (2) the privatization of Chemspec International Limited, a specialty chemicals company operating in China and (3) with Khazanah Nasional Berhad, a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, the purchase of $400M 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 Inc. of a strategic stake in Falcon View Technology Limited, the holding company of the PRC entities operating Ganji.com, a major online local services marketplace platform in China