Freshfields and Kirkland advise on Hong Kong's second SPAC listing

Vision Deal is the second SPAC to be listed on the HKSE since rules changed in January
View over Hong Kong in the evening


Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Kirkland & Ellis have advised on the listing of special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Vision Deal in Hong Kong. 

The deal marks the second SPAC to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE) since rules permitting blank check companies to apply for such listings took effect in January. 

Following the listing, Vision Deal plans to target companies in China specialising in smart car technology or those with supply chain and cross-border e-commerce capabilities and potential de-SPAC targets. 

The company plans to announce a de-SPAC transaction within 18 months of the listing date (10 June) and complete that transaction within 30 months of the listing date, a shorter timeframe than is permitted under the new listing rules, according to Freshfields. 

A team from Kirkland advised Vision Deal, while lawyers from Freshfields’ office in Hong Kong advised Citigroup Global Markets Asia and Haitong International Capital, the joint sponsors of the deal. 

Kirkland’s team was led by transactional partner David Zhang and included capital markets partners Mengyu Lu, Steve Lin and Kelvin Chu. Zhang and Lu are based in Hong Kong, while Lin and Chu are based in Beijing. 

Freshfields’ Hong Kong-based team was led by partners Grace Huang and Arun Balasubramanian. The duo was supported by associates Randa Leung, Yitian Jin and Jasmine Kwok.

Huang, Balasubramanian and Leung were also on the team that worked on Acquila Acquisition’s listing in March. Acquila was the first SPAC to submit a listing application on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange following the rule change. 

Kirkland ranked fourth by deal value and second by deal volume in Refinitiv’s M&A advisory league tables during the first quarter of this year, having worked on 207 deals worth $119bn. Freshfields was the top ranked UK firm by deal value, coming in at 13th – three spots lower than at this stage in the calendar last year. The firm worked on 42 deals worth $51.6bn. 

Last month, Skadden and Orrick advised on Chinese automotive tech firm ECARX’s go-public merger with blank check company COVA Acquisition in a deal worth $3.82bn. 

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