Best bank for leveraged finance 2020
Bank of China
Bank of China (BOC) was involved in nearly 150 M&A projects worth a combined $62 billion during our awards period – between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020 – taking the total number of deals it has been involved in over the years to nearly 1,000.
The work has covered a range of sectors, from telecommunications, technology and media to mining and medical equipment. It has also included financing in a wide variety of currencies besides the typical dollar and renminbi bonds, including euros, sterling and niche currencies such as Swedish kronor.
Bank of China makes the most of its global network. The bank operates in over 60 countries around the world, working on M&A deals in Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, the UK and the US, to name just a few.
Its lending capability is enhanced by its three overseas syndicated loans centres in Hong Kong, London and New York. In 2019, the bank also set up a special financing platform in Macau.
BOC provided over $20 billion in acquisition financing during our awards period. Data supplied by the bank showed that for the full year 2019, it was the top name in Asia-Pacific leveraged finance, with a market share that jumped to 9.88%, from 6.53% a year ago.
BOC provided funds for domestic M&A by local champions such as Citic Group during our awards period, but its strengths lie in transactions with a cross-border element. Of the 150 transactions it completed in the awards period, 100 involved a non-Chinese partner.
Under chairman Liu Liange, Bank of China has supported its clients in expanding overseas. It was a mandated lead arranger and bookrunner for a $4 billion bridge loan for China Three Gorges Corp’s acquisition of Luz del Sur – the largest power distributor in Peru – from California-based Sempra Energy, and contributed $1.5 billion in financing.
It was also involved in Tencent’s €3 billion purchase of a 10% stake in Universal Music Group from French media company Vivendi.
The emergence of new trends – such as an increase in inbound M&A as foreign buyers look for high-quality assets in China – has provided opportunities for BOC. Such deals included Brookfield Asset Management’s purchase of Greenland Huangpu Centre in Shanghai from Greenland Hong Kong, and private equity firm KKR’s acquisition of a majority stake in NVC Lighting’s China lighting business.