Cementing its position as a leader in the Philippines legal market, during the second half of 2019, Milbank LLP’s Philippines practice advised clients on a total of over US$3.1 billion in investments in the Philippines across the capital markets and M&A space, across a diverse number of sectors, including finance, power and energy, telecommunications, healthcare and retail.
Milbank’s strong showing in the debt capital markets space in the Philippines in the second half of 2019 included advising: HSBC Bank, BPI Capital, JP Morgan, UBS and Credit Suisse as joint lead managers in connection with Ayala Corporation’s AYC Finance Limited’s $400 million fixed-for-life issuance, the country’s first fixed-for-life perpetual issuance in over a year and Ayala Corporation’s first transaction in the international bond market since 2017; Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, UBS and Credit Suisse as joint lead managers in connection with SMC Global Power Holdings Corp.’s (“SMC Global Power”) US$500 million senior perpetual securities issuance and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and UBS as joint lead managers and underwriters in connection with an issuance of US$300 million senior perpetual securities. SMC Global Power, one of the largest power companies in the Philippines, is responsible for 17% of the Philippines’ national grid and is also a member of massive Philippines conglomerate San Miguel Corporation’s group of companies. Milbank also advised the sole international counsel for the joint lead managers in connection with two Association of Southeast Asian Nations (“ASEAN”) green bond issuances by Bank of Philippine Islands (“BPI”), with a combined value of approximately US$405 million.
The Milbank team also advised on notable equity capital markets transactions, including advising UBS, CLSA and Credit Suisse as joint lead managers in connection with AllHome Corp.’s $250 million initial public offering, which was the first and only international IPO out of the Philippines in 2019 and the country’s largest since 2016; and advising Philippine National Bank, one of the largest banks in the Philippines, in connection with its US$265 million rights offering.
As evidence of further growth of Milbank’s M&A practice, the team advised on a number of high-profile M&A and finance transactions, including advising: Philippines broadband provider Converge ICT Solutions in the US$250 million investment by United States-based Warburg Pincus, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms; AGP International Holdings Pte. Ltd. as subsidiary of Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Company of Manila on its sale of an approximately US$100 million stake to Osaka Gas Co. Ltd., one of the world’s leading gas utilities companies, and Japan Bank for International Cooperation, a financial institution wholly owned by the Japanese government; and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation and Singapore Sovereign wealth fund GIC Private Limited in connection with its disposition of interests in Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, Inc. the Philippines’ largest hospital chain, to a consortium of investors led by global investment firm KKR & Co. Inc. The transaction, valued at approximately US$685 million, marks one of the biggest equity investments by a private equity group to take place in Southeast Asia this year. The team also advised Udenna Corporation in connection with various investments and financings during 2019.
As an indication of Milbank’s long-term commitment to the Philippines and to providing the highest quality legal services to clients, attorney Paul Pery was elected to Milbank’s partnership on January 1, 2020. Mr. Pery, who has been consistently recognized by both Chambers Asia Pacific and Legal 500 Asia Pacific for his work in the Philippines, plays a key role in many complex and significant client matters and is expected to continue to contribute significantly to the growth and success of Milbank’s Philippines practice.
Hong Kong-based partner James Grandolfo led on each of the transactions with significant support from Paul Pery and Singapore-based partners Jacqueline Chan and James Orme. A team of associates from Hong Kong and Singapore were also instrumental in these transactions, including Ari Singzon, York Wu, Min Kim, Stephanie Kam and Cheyne Cudby. London-based partners James Warbey and John Goldfinch and associates Peter West, Martin Brennan and Chris Burke, as well as New York-based associate Ryan Harman advised on the transactions.