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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

Greater China
  • Comcast and Universal Parks & Resorts on their Universal Beijing theme park joint venture with Beijing Shouhuan
  • Lufax on its pre-IPO fundraising and convertible notes exchange
  • Li & Fung on Temasek’s investment in LF Logistics
  • Jebsen on its “Blue Girl” beer joint venture with AB InBev
  • Uber on the $35 billion merger of Uber China and Didi Chuxing
  • I Squared Capital
    • $1.9 billion acquisition of CK Hutchinson’s Hong Kong fixed-line business
    • investment in China Cube Energy
  • ASE Technology on its $3.4 billion acquisition of SPIL, a Taiwan semiconductor company
  • Tencent on its pre-IPO investments in and Linklogis
  • Temasek on its investment in WeWork China
  • ChipMOS Taiwan on its merger with ChipMOS Bermuda
  • Going-private transactions by AsiaInfo, Focus Media, Shanda Games, Bona Film, China Hydro,, Ku6 Media and E-House
  • Baidu on its acquisition of Qunar
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of New York on its $25 billion debt-for-equity exchanges for AIG’s Asian insurance businesses, AIA and ALICO
Southeast Asia
  • Gojek / GoTo
    • $18 billion combination with Tokopedia to form GoTo Group
    • various pre-IPO fundraising rounds by Gojek / GoTo
    • Series A funding round by GoPay, and exchange for GoTo preferred shares
  • Carsome on its pre-IPO fundraising
  • JB Financial on its acquisition of Morgan Stanley’s Vietnam securities brokerage business
  • Baidu Capital on its pre-IPO investment in Grab
  • Razer on various pre-IPO fundraising rounds and exchange offer
  • Philippine Long Distance Telephone on its sale of SPi Global to CVC Capital
  • I Squared Capital
    • investment in Cube Highways and sale of stakes to ADIA and Mitsubishi Corporation
    • investment in Amplus Energy and its sale to Petronas
    • investment in Think Gas
  • Tencent on its investments in Flipkart, PhonePe, Ola and Udaan
  • Morgan Stanley Infrastructure
    • investment in Continuum Wind
    • highway projects joint venture with Isolux Corsan and its sale to PSP Investments
    • investment in Second Vivekananda Bridge toll project
  • Warburg Pincus
    • investment in QuEST Global
    • acquisition out of bankruptcy of GPX Tire by Alliance Tire and sale of Alliance Tire to KKR
U.S. cross-border
  • Duddell Street Acquisition Corp., a SPAC sponsored by Maso Capital, on its business combination with FiscalNote
  • Comcast Spectacor on its T1 esports joint venture with SK Telecom
  • Comcast on its $3.8 billion acquisition of DreamWorks Animation
  • China Investment Corporation on various co-investments
  • SinoPac on its sale of Far East National Bank to Cathay Bank
  • Francisco Partners’ Numonyx semiconductor joint venture with Intel and STMicroelectronics
  • MediaTek on its acquisition of Analog Devices’ chipset business
European cross-border
  • ASE Technology on its acquisition of Asteelflash, a French electronics manufacturing company
  • Tencent on its investment in N26, a German mobile banking platform
  • GO Scale Capital on its $3.3 billion terminated acquisition of Lumileds from Royal Philips
View all experience




Legal 500 Asia Pacific – Corporate (Including M&A), Hong Kong, Rising Star

LL.M., University of Cambridge
  • Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship
  • first-class honours
LL.B., University of Sydney Law School
  • first-class honours
B.A., University of Sydney
Professional history
  • Counsel, 2013-present
  • Associate, 2001-2013
  • 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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