Richard Watkins is a partner in the Hong Kong office of Latham & Watkins and a member of the firm’s Corporate Department.
Mr. Watkins advises clients on private equity, M&A, and other corporate finance transactions, particularly cross border mergers, acquisitions (ranging from buy-outs to minority investments), growth capital, and consortia and joint ventures.
Mr. Watkins has a broad range of experience on both buy side and sell side transactions in a variety of industries (particularly asset management, TMT, real estate, and consumer), across a number of regions throughout Asia and globally, and for a variety of investors.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Watkins worked in major international law firms in London and Moscow.
Mr. Watkins’ experience includes advising:
- Warburg Pincus and its portfolio companies in a number of matters, including:
- The HK$3.92 billion sale of a 7% interest in ESR Cayman Limited to OMERS Administration
- ARA Asset Management Group on a strategic acquisition of a majority stake in the LOGOS Property Group, a logistics real estate development platform
- The US$100 million structured equity investment into Circles Asia, a pan-Asian MVNO operator and telecommunication service provider
- The establishment and growth of an Asia self-storage platform, including seed assets, joint ventures, and bolt ons, including the acquisition of 51% stake in Ministorage China Limited, a Hong Kong holding company of several self-storage facilities in the PRC
- A number of investments by Warburg Pincus’s joint venture with Becamex IDC, in the development of an industrial real estate platform in Vietnam
- A consortium including Warburg Pincus and Temasek, in its €975 million agreement to acquire a stake in the securities custody business of Santander Banco de Emisiones*
- TPG in a number of matters, including:
- The acquisition by TPG and Northstar of an 80% stake in Greenfields Dairy, the Southeast Asia branded dairy business (a vertically integrated branded dairy products business supported by its own dairy farms), from Japfa Ltd
- A consortium comprising TPG, Singapore Life (SingLife), Sumitomo Life Insurance Company, and others on a transaction to combine SingLife with Aviva Singapore — which, with a combined valuation of SGD3.2 billion, marks one of the largest mergers in the insurance sector in Southeast Asia and the largest in Singapore
- A number of private investments and offers, often through auction bids, across a variety of sectors and territories in APAC
- Its consortium with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and that consortium’s commitment to make a US$1.2 billion investment in UPL Corporation Limited (the operating company for the international operations of UPL Limited, a global agrochemical solutions provider listed in India) in support of UPL Corporation Limited’s planned US$4.2 billion acquisition of Arysta LifeScience from NYSE-listed Platform Specialty Products Corporation, acquiring a combined approximate 22% shareholding in UPL Corporate Limited*
- Its acquisition of a 17.5% indirect economic stake in FESCO (The Far-Eastern Shipping Company), a stake with a market value of US$160 million; and a related shareholders arrangement with Summa group, FESCO’s principal shareholder, and subsequent restructuring*
- A joint investment with VTB Capital in the largest private equity investment in a Russian business at the time, whereby shareholders of Lenta (Russia’s leading grocery/hypermarket chain) led by Svoboda Corporation sold a 44% holding to Luna, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, VTB Capital and, in an LBO structure, a Cyprus subsidiary of Lenta for US$1.14 billion; as well as advising Lenta on a number of finance and M&A matters, including its London IPO*
- The Coca-Cola Company and its bottlers in a number of matters, including:
- Coca-Cola İçecek (CCI) in their acquisition from The State Assets Management Agency of the Republic of Uzbekistan (UzSAMA) of a 57.118% sale stake in Coca-Cola Bottlers Uzbekistan, Ltd (CCBU)
- The Coca-Cola Company’s wholly owned subsidiary African Refreshments Limited’s two-stage acquisition (following auction) of C.H.I Limited, the leading Nigerian producer and seller of juices, dairy products, and snacks, from Tropical General Investments Limited
- The combination of businesses to form a multi-billion dollar new multi-exchange listed bottler, Coca-Cola European Partners, creating the world’s largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola products (American Lawyer’s Global M&A Deal of the Year: Europe)*
- Vingroup in a number of matters, including:
- Vingroup Joint Stock Company on the VND4.7 trillion (approx. US$203.1 million) GIC-led consortium investment in VMC Holding Business Investment Joint Stock Company, the parent of Vinmec International General Hospital JSC, the premier private hospital developer and operator in Vietnam
- Vincommerce, a Vietnam-based conglomerate focusing on real estate development, retail, and services ranging from healthcare to hospitality, on an US$500 million investment by a consortium led by GIC
- Vingroup Joint Stock Company on its proposed establishment of Vinpearl Air, a regional Asian airline
- ARA Asset Management Limited (ARA), the largest real assets manager in Asia Pacific, in relation to a proposed business combination of the ARA Group with ESR Cayman Limited for consideration of US$5.2 billion
- O-I Glass on its sale of its Australia and New Zealand glass packaging business unit to Australia's Visy Industries in a deal valued at over A$730 million
- Tencent on its participation in the US$1 billion Series H equity financing of Bundl Technologies (dba Swiggy), an India-based provider of a food ordering and delivery platform
- Amundi in its €3.55 billion acquisition of the asset management business Pioneer Investments (AUM of circa €222 billion) from UniCredit, following auction*
*Matter handled prior to joining Latham