Managing Partner of the China Practice, Betty Yap is a member of the Corporate Department, based in the firm’s office in Hong Kong. Betty’s practice focuses on cross-border M&A, strategic investments, joint ventures, private equity and special situations transactions, and foreign direct investments involving Greater China. Her clients include private equity firms, multinational corporations, financial institutions, and mainland Chinese companies across a multitude of industries including financial services, energy and resources, food and beverage, retail, TMT, automotive, and real estate.
Betty’s career highlights include advising:
- Wumei, a leading Chinese retailer, in its EUR1.9 billion acquisition of Germany’s Metro AG’s retail, wholesale and cash and carry operations in China, including Metro AG’s majority interest in some 45 subsidiaries;
- Hillhouse Capital in its investment in Magento Commerce, a global provider in cloud digital commerce innovation, and the subsequent US$1.68 billion sale to Adobe;
- GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, alongside several Asia-based investors led by Yunfeng Financial Group, in the approximately US$1.768 billion cash and stock acquisition of MassMutual Asia Ltd from MassMutual International LLC, a Massachusetts-based mutual life insurance company;
- Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan, in its investment alongside FountainVest Partners, a Hong Kong-based private equity firm, in The Pure Group, a Hong Kong-based fitness and yoga center operator and wellness brand;
- a consortium of investors as a shortlisted bidder in the auction sale of McDonald’s operations in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau;
- an investor in the co-investment led by Tencent in its US$8.6 billion acquisition of the majority stake in Supercell, a European mobile gaming company which founded and operates the “Clash of Clans” game;
- JD Capital in its acquisition of 100% of Ageas’ life insurance operations in Hong Kong for US$1.38 billion;
- China Southern Grid in its acquisition, alongside China Light & Power, of a 60% shareholding in total in the Castle Peak power station in Hong Kong from ExxonMobil valued at close to US$4 billion (voted as “Hong Kong Deal of the Year 2014” by FinanceAsia);
- Dairy Farm in its strategic investment in Yonghui Superstores, an A-share supermarket and retail company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, at close to US$1 billion;
- The lead investor, alongside China Everbright, in the US$1.1 billion acquisition of Oriental Financial Center in Shanghai from Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong (the largest real estate transaction in Shanghai in 2013);
- The international investors in pre-IPO investments in Chinese real estate developers, including China Rightway, Evergrande, Fantasia and Kaisa;
- MidAmerican Energy Holdings (a Berkshire Hathaway company) in its strategic investment in BYD Company, which was valued at approximately US$1 billion at closing;
- The international investors in making and considering significant pre-IPO strategic investments in the PRC financial services sector, including Postal Bank of China, Huarong Asset Management, Cinda Asset Management and Bank of China;
- The international investors in TMT-related investments including Cainiao, Meituan-Dianping, Qunar (after Ctrip’s acquisition from Baidu) and Didi Taxi;
- An international investor in its investment in CITIC Pacific Limited as part of the US$5.1 billion fundraising by CITIC Pacific Limited to fund the US$36.6 billion injection by CITIC Group;
- The Royal Bank of Scotland in selling the ABN Amro retail and commercial operations in Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan;
- BNP Paribas Cardif in its acquisition of ING’s 50% interest in its life insurance joint venture in China with Bank of Beijing and the related bancassurance arrangements;
- An international private equity client in its investment in New China Life Insurance;
- New York Life in the disposal of its 50% interest in Haier New York Life Insurance in China followed by the subscription of equity interests by Meiji Yasuda;
- The placing agent in the issue of approximately US$1 billion of shares by Ping An Insurance Holdings;
- The Zhang family in the sale of their interests in Yashili, alongside Carlyle, to China Mengniu as part of the takeover of Yashili by China Mengniu;
- COFCO in its equity step-up in China Mengniu and the strategic alliance between China Mengniu and Arla Group;
- Diageo in its investment in the holding company of Shuijingfang, an A-share company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and a manufacturer of Chinese liquor; and
- Home Depot in its acquisition of 100% of the equity interests in HomeWorld, a nationwide home improvement chain in China.
Betty is recognized by Chambers Asia Pacific 2019 as a “Band 1” individual for private equity/buyouts & venture capital investment in China among international firms describing her as a "great lawyer with a great reputation”. The Legal 500 2018 ranks Betty as a “Leading Individual” for Private Equity in Hong Kong, recognizing her as a ‘superstar’ for China-related transactions, with clients describing her as “terrific – technically excellent, very responsive and a pleasure to deal with”. IFLR1000 2019 ranks Betty as a “highly regarded” lawyer for M&A and Private Equity in Hong Kong, and describes her as a lawyer who “gives real value add in transactions and is able to navigate difficult parties to come to resolution.” She is also recognized by Chambers Asia-Pacific, and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific as a leading M&A lawyer in Hong Kong.
Betty is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. She is admitted to practice law in Hong Kong and Victoria, Australia.