Chris Williams is one of the founding partners of Howse Williams. He specialises in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, direct investment and corporate restructurings and reorganisations. He also advises on corporate governance and compliance. Chris qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales in 1986 and practiced with Richards Butler in London, then moved to Richards Butler Hong Kong in early 1991. He was admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong in 1991. Chris sits as non-executive chairman and non-executive deputy chairman of three entities listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange ("SGX").
His practice encompasses Hong Kong and the Asia Pacific region, particularly Indonesia and Singapore. Chris has been named in the Guide to the World's Leading Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyers as well as the International Who's Who of Merger and Acquisition Lawyers as one of the world's top mergers and acquisitions lawyers.
Chris has represented major clients on many significant matters including:
- Acted on behalf of PT Lippo Karawaci Tbk group of companies in a Rp 2.2 trillion equity deal in which CVC Capital Partners agreed to acquire a 15% stake in PT Siloam International Hospitals Tbk, the largest private national healthcare group in Indonesia and a listed subsidiary of PT Lippo Karawaci Tbk.
- Acted for PT Multipolar Tbk and its wholly owned subsidiary in relation to the issuance to and subscription by Anderson Investment Pte Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited, of a USD300 million equity linked instrument which is exchangeable into a 26.1% stake in PT Matahari Putra Prima Tbk.
- Acted for Lippo China Resources, a Hong Kong listed company, in its disposal of interest in its PRC retail department store business carried out under the name "Robbinz".
- Acted for Hong Kong Chinese (formerly The HKCB Bank Holding Company Limited) in its acquisition of an 85% interest in Finibanco (Macau), S.A.R.L.
- Acted for an Indonesian based group in relation to the reorganisation of its regional telecommunication and technology interests into a single group and the listing of that group on the Growth Enterprise Market of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited.
- Acted on behalf of PT Matahari Putra Prima Tbk, one of Indonesia’s largest retailers, in its divestment of a substantial part of its interest in PT Matahari Department Stores Tbk to a newly established joint venture with funds managed by CVC Asia Pacific Limited, Matahari retaining a 20% interest in the venture.
- Acted for PT First Media Tbk, a company listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, in its divestment of part of its interest in PT Link Net and PT First Media Television to a private equity group.
- Acted on behalf of a consortium comprising European financial institutions and Asian investment funds regarding the acquisition of a controlling interest in a financial institution from the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency and its subsequent sale to a sovereign wealth fund.
- Acted as international counsel for Overseas Union Enterprise Limited ("OUE"), a company listed on the SGX, and a consortium led by OUE, in its competing general offer for all the shares in Fraser & Neave Limited for an aggregate consideration of approximately S$13 Billion. The offer subsequently lapsed.
- Acted for Lippo Limited in its proposed arrangements with Caesars Entertainment Corporation in relation to a proposed joint venture to construct an integrated resort, hotel-casino and serviced apartments in South Korea.
- Restructuring of external debt obligations of Guangdong Enterprises, a wholly-owned conglomerate of Guangdong Provincial Government ("GPG"). The total indebtedness involved was approximately US$5.7 billion owed by some 300 companies to about 170 banks and 4 large groups of holders of debt securities. The restructuring involved complex and protracted negotiations with the steering committees appointed by the bank creditors and the noteholders. GPG's principal contribution to the restructuring was the privatisation of the entity in Guangdong Province which supplies Hong Kong with most of its natural water. Following the formation of a new company, debt in excess of US$2 billion was issued to amortise the rescheduled debt. The privatised entity was then injected into Guangdong Investment Limited, a company listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and controlled by GPG as part of the overall restructuring.
- Acting for Overseas Union Enterprise Limited, a company listed on the SGX, generally as international counsel in various corporate transactions.
- Acted for an Asian based conglomerate on the reorganisation of its Hong Kong interests which involved several entities listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and including regulated entities.
- Acted on numerous IPO's on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, many of which involved the reorganisation of companies within the group to be listed in anticipation of listing.