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China Corporate and Investment Banking Awards

Best for cross-border M&A 2020: CLSA (Citic Securities)

CLSA (Citic Securities)

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It is seven years since CLSA was acquired by Citic Securities, becoming a wholly owned subsidiary. CLSA’s staff in Hong Kong now work closely with their domestic counterparts, creating a powerful double-act for M&A advisory.

CLSA has a proven track record in the field, having completed close to 250 deals worth some $80 billion over the last three decades. The eight-strong M&A team completed over 10 transactions during our awards period, between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, advising clients across a variety of industries.

The firm played a crucial part in Cathay Pacific’s HK$4.9 billion ($632 million) acquisition of Hong Kong Express Airways last year.

The transaction was made possible after CLSA identified the budget airline as a sellable asset of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group. As the sole buy-side financial adviser, the firm navigated through a difficult regulatory and political landscape, eliminated the execution risks and completed the transaction within a tight time frame.

CLSA also helped Suning, one of the largest Chinese retailers, to acquire an 80% stake in Carrefour China from Carrefour Group for $700 million, as a joint buy-side financial adviser. The deal was one of the largest M&A transactions in China’s consumer space in 2019.

The firm was also able to participate in a growing trend: the taking private of Chinese listed companies. In China Huaneng Group Co’s HK$16 billion take-private deal for Huaneng Renewables, CLSA worked as the exclusive financial adviser. The transaction, announced in October 2019 and completed in February this year, was the first such deal successfully executed through a general offer since the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong amended the Takeover Code in 2018.

Leveraging the relationship with its ultimate parent Citic Group, CLSA also led the taking private of Citic Envirotech, the biggest such transaction on the Singapore Stock Exchange for more than a decade, as well as Citic Pacific’s deal to take private Dah Chong Hong Holdings from the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

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