이 기사는 2020년 03월 27일 08:00 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.
U.S.-based law firm Arnold & Porter is gaining a foothold in South Korea’s M&A advisory market.
Arnold & Porter has advised on several small and large deals since opening its office in Seoul in March 2019. It is currently acting as legal advisor to Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) on the PE firm’s planned sale of Logen Logistics, the country’s fourth largest package delivery company.
It is not clear when the transaction will close as BPEA is still in talks with prospective buyers. But there is likelihood that the deal could complete before the end of June, which would help raise the rank of the law firm in the M&A league table.
Arnold & Porter previously provided legal advice to BPEA with South Korean law firm Kim & Chang on the PE firm’s acquisition of consumer finance and leasing company Acuon Capital, which apparently led to an opportunity for the firm to counsel on the Logen Logistics deal. Acuon Savings Bank, Acuon Capital’s 100 percent subsidiary, was also included in the acquisition which was in total worth more than 700 billion won.
The law firm is also expanding its presence in South Korean outbound deals. South Korea's tech giant Samsung Electronics signed a deal in January to acquire U.S. network service provider TeleWorld Solutions in a bid to secure a bridgehead for an inroad into North American mobile carrier market. Arnold & Porter served as legal counsel to Samsung Electronics in connection with the transaction. This is a meaningful achievement as Paul Hastings has so far advised on most of the tech firm’s overseas M&As.
Arnold & Porter’s M&A advisory division in Seoul is led by Kim Kyung-seok who has more than 15-year experience in the field with his previous career at Linklaters and White & Case. He provided legal advice to Samsung Electronics on the acquisition of Barcelona-based network data analysis firm Zhilabs in 2018. He first worked with BPEA when he represented the firm in its sale of Halla Cement closed in January 2018, and thereafter has advised on a string of BPEA’s deals. He is also said to have strong connections with other global PE firms.
Arnold & Porter is an international law firm with nearly 1,000 lawyers practicing in 16 offices around the globe. But it is relatively new in South Korea with its Seoul office launched just a year ago. Kim Kyung-seok works with James K. Lee and Kim Jun-hee, both of whom moved from White & Case last year.
Apart from M&A advisory activity, Arnold & Porter is also currently representing the South Korean government in an investor-state dispute (ISD) suit filed by U.S.-based PE firm Lone Star Funds.
(By reporter Kim Hye-ran)