Haier D-share offer breaks new ground

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Qingdao Haier, the first company to conduct an IPO in the D-share market, has opened a new chapter for Chinese companies’ ongoing efforts to go global, a legal expert says.

Linklaters advised Qingdao Haier, a global manufacturer of household appliances, on its IPO and listing on the D-share market of the Frankfurt-based China Europe International Stock Exchange (CEINEX). The listing marks the first IPO in the CEINEX D-Share Market. Haier was a Shanghai-listed A-share company since 1993, and so the deal also marked the first example of the “A+D” dual-listing model.

“The IPO listing of Qingdao Haier in the CEINEX D-share market is a milestone in the capital market in recent years,” Michael Ng, a partner at Linklaters Hong Kong, told Asia Business Law Journal. “It signals that Chinese companies, after decades of competition since the country’s opening up, have obtained a more mature and improved system for internal control and supervision.

“Chinese companies are more confident and open to face the regulation of European authorities. The Qingdao Haier IPO shows that domestic share markets in Europe, which are famous for strict regulation, have started to embrace Chinese issuers, marking a new step for Chinese companies to go global. It has opened a new gate for Chinese companies, and has given them more ideas about raising money in the capital market.”

Iris Leung, also a partner at Linklaters Hong Kong, said the IPO of Qingdao Haier in Germany was only a start. “In the near future, more Chinese companies are expected to follow its steps to land in Europe’s domestic share markets, which they were once unfamiliar with,” she said.

King & Wood Mallesons also participated in this deal as the legal counsel to Qingdao Haier.