Korea Practice

Davis Polk has one of the leading Korea practices among international firms in Asia. From our Tokyo and Hong Kong offices, we focus on complex, value-added assignments requiring creative and cross-market lawyering skills – including experience with products and structures developed in other markets. We have a strong team of lawyers dedicated to Korean work. They are fluent in Korean and have extensive experience advising clients and banks on their interests in Korea.

The firm’s breadth of experience in the region includes advising a range of clients on both corporate and litigation matters, including capital markets and M&A transactions as well as cross-border enforcement actions, litigations and general dispute resolution advice.

We target innovative and important Korean transactions and have forged strong relationships with key Korean market participants, particularly the key investment banks active in the region. Our lawyers are widely recognized for their experience in the Korean markets and play a central role on many of the most significant Korea-related matters currently shaping today’s market.

Notable Matters – Capital Markets

DEBT

  • The Export-Import Bank of Korea. We have advised the underwriters in connection with several SEC-registered Schedule B debt offerings by KEXIM.
  • Korea Development Bank. We have advised the underwriters in connection with several SEC-registered Schedule B debt offering by Korea Development Bank.
  • Korea Finance Corporation ($2.3 billion). We advised the underwriters, since 2010, on an aggregate of $2.3 billion Schedule B offerings of notes by Korea Finance Corporation, a policy finance institution established by the Korean government in order to strengthen national competitiveness, promote job growth and contribute to the sound growth of the financial markets and national economy of the Republic of Korea.
  • Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power ($500 million). We advised the initial purchasers on a Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of notes by Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, a Korean nuclear and hydroelectric power generation company.

EQUITY OFFERINGS

  • Korea Life Insurance ($1.6 billion). We advised the underwriters on a Rule 144A/Regulation S IPO of common stock of Korea Life Insurance, the oldest life insurance firm in Korea providing insurance services to its clients.
  • Shinhan Financial Group ($938 million). We advised the joint lead managers on a rights offering by Shinhan Financial Group, the largest Korean financial institution by market capitalization. This was the largest Korean rights offering in history.
  • SK Telecom ($333 million). We advised the joint bookrunners on a Regulation S offering of convertible notes by SK Telecom, a wireless telecommunications services provider in Korea. This offering won FinanceAsia’s award for “Best Korean Deal” in 2009.

Notable Matters – M&A

  • CSLI. We advised Systran in connection with its acquisition by the Korean company CSLI. 
  • Starwood Capital. We advised Starwood Capital on its sale of the well-known Paris-based high-end fragrance company Annick Goutal to the listed Korean group AmorePacific.
  • Hyosung Corporation/The Goodyear. We advised Hyosung Corporation on its acquisition of the global tire steel cord business of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and the related long-term supply agreement.
  • Polo Ralph Lauren/Doosan. We advised Polo Ralph Lauren, a designer, marketer and distributor of apparel, accessories and luxury goods, on its agreement to assume direct control of its wholesale and retail distribution in Korea, from its licensee, Doosan.
  • Webzen/NHN Games. We advised Webzen on its $214 million merger with NHN Games Co. Both companies are Korean developers and service providers of massively multiplayer online games.