Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Han Kun Law Offices have advised Chinese car comparison website Bitauto and classifieds portal 58.com, both previously listed in New York, in going private with the transactions being valued at $1.1 billion and $8.7 billion, respectively.
In both cases, Kirkland & Ellis was one of the firms advising the buyer group.
In the case of Bitauto, it was purchased by an investor group comprised of gaming and social media firm Tencent and Hammer Capital. Zhong Lun Law Firm, Latham & Watkins, Maples and Calder and Ogier were the other law firms advising the buyer group on the deal.
The transaction also triggered a mandatory general offer for the shares of Yixin, an online automobile finance transaction platform under Bitauto which is listed in Hong Kong. Kirkland and Skadden will be legal counsels to the buyer and seller, respectively.
Founded in 2010, Bitauto provides internet content and marketing services, as well as transaction services, for China’s automotive industry. Yixin, a subsidiary of Bitauto, is an online automobile finance transaction platform in China. Tencent and JD.com are key shareholders of both companies.
The Kirkland team was led by partners Nicholas Norris, Daniel Dusek, Lin Xiaoxi, Carmen Lau, Justin Dolling and Jennifer Feng; the Latham team was led by partner Frank Sun; and the Ogier team was led by partner Kate Hodson.
Meanwhile, with a deal valued at $8.7 billion, Chinese online classifieds portal 58.com became the second China Concept Stock company to go private, following 360’s $9 billion transaction in 2016.
Fenwick & West represented the special committee in the deal, while Conyers Dill & Pearman advised 58.com under the Cayman Islands laws. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Kirkland & Ellis and Weil, Gotshal & Manges served as international advisors to the buyer group, with Fangda Partners and Maples and Calder advising on PRC laws and the Cayman Islands laws, respectively. Linklaters represented the financing banks in the deal.
The take-private consortium included Warburg Pincus, General Atlantic, Ocean Link Partner and 58.com Chief Executive Officer Yao Jinbo.
Founded in 2005, 58.com operates China's largest online classifieds marketplace through both its website and mobile applications. It was listed in New York in 2013.
The Kirkland team was led by partners Daniel Dusek, Lin Xiaoxi, Jacqueline Zheng and David Irvine, while the Weil team was led by partners Tim Gardner and Chris Welty.
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