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Sam Kelso


Advises on M&A and private equity transactions, focusing on cross-border transactions and investments in and out of the Asia-Pacific region.

Sam advises on mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions. He has extensive experience in cross-border transactions and investments in and out of the Asia-Pacific region across various sectors, including technology, media and telecom, energy/infrastructure, consumer, healthcare and financial services.

Sam represents global and Asian companies and investment funds in their strategic mergers and acquisitions, investments, pre-IPO financings, SPAC and going-private transactions, PIPEs, joint ventures, restructurings and other securities and general corporate matters. He previously worked in our New York, London and Northern California offices.

Experience highlights

North Asia
  • Mongolian Mining’s acquisition of 50% of Erdene Mongol
  • Provident SPAC’s business combination with Perfect
  • Universal’s Beijing theme park joint venture with Beijing Shouhuan
  • Comcast’s T1 e-sports joint venture with SK Telecom
  • I Squared Capital:
    • investments in HEXA Renewables and Taiwan Cube Energy
    • $1.9 billion acquisition of HGC Global
  • Lufax’s pre-IPO fundraising
  • Li & Fung on Temasek’s investment in LF Logistics
  • Jebsen’s Blue Girl beer joint venture with AB InBev
  • ASE’s $3.4 billion acquisition of SPIL
  • Tencent’s pre-IPO investments in and Linklogis
  • Going-private transactions by AsiaInfo, Focus Media, Shanda Games, Bona Film, China Hydro,, Ku6 Media and E-House
  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s $25 billion debt-for-equity exchanges for AIA and ALICO
Southeast Asia
  • Black Spade SPAC’s $23 billion combination with VinFast
  • Bravo Investment’s acquisition of a controlling interest in PT BFI Finance Indonesia
  • Gojek’s $18 billion combination with Tokopedia and pre-IPO fundraising
  • Carsome’s pre-IPO fundraising
  • JB Financial’s acquisition of Morgan Stanley’s Vietnam securities brokerage business
  • Razer’s pre-IPO fundraising
  • Philippine Long Distance Telephone’s sale of SPi Global to CVC Capital
  • Cube Highways on its InvIT listing and investments by BCI and Mubadala
  • I Squared Capital:
    • investments in Polaris Smart Metering and Think Gas
    • investment in Amplus Solar and its sale to Petronas
  • Tencent’s investments in Flipkart, PhonePe, Ola and Udaan
  • Morgan Stanley Infrastructure:
    • investments in Continuum Wind and Second Vivekananda Bridge
    • joint venture with Isolux Corsan and its sale to PSP
  • Warburg Pincus:
    • investment in QuEST Global Services
    • Section 363 acquisition of GPX Tire
U.S. cross-border
  • Duddell Street SPAC’s $1 billion business combination with FiscalNote
  • Comcast’s $3.8 billion acquisition of DreamWorks Animation
  • Francisco Partners’ Numonyx semiconductor joint venture with Intel and STMicroelectronics
  • MediaTek’s acquisition of Analog Devices’ chipset business
European cross-border
  • Tencent’s investment in Ubisoft and N26
  • ASE’s acquisition of Asteelflash
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Legal 500 Asia Pacific – Corporate (Including M&A), Hong Kong, Rising Star

LL.M., University of Cambridge
  • first-class honours
  • Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship
LL.B., University of Sydney Law School
  • first-class honours
B.A., University of Sydney
Professional history
  • Davis Polk since 2001
  • Hong Kong office, 2009-present
  • Northern California office, 2006-2009
  • London office, 2004-2006
  • New York office, 2001-2003
Qualifications and admissions
  • Hong Kong
  • State of California
  • State of New York
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