Stephen Howard is a local partner in White & Case's Asia Debt Finance and Restructuring practice based in Hong Kong. Stephen joined our Hong Kong team in 2016 from our London office, having spent over 9 years in the London acquisition and leveraged finance market and working extensively with our EMEA and New York practices.
Stephen has experience advising banks and major financial institutions, alternative finance and capital providers, private equity sponsors, and corporate borrowers across a broad range of capital structures, with particular emphasis on acquisition and leveraged finance transactions, direct lending, and combined bank/bond structures.
Stephen's experience also includes secondments to the senior execution legal desks for the London-based leveraged finance teams to both Deutsche Bank (2009-2010) and Nomura International (2013-2014).
Stephen has been recognized as a Rising Star for Hong Kong Banking & Finance by Legal 500.
Advised the joint global coordinators, senior mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners on a HK$14.85 billion senior revolving credit facility to MCO Nominee One Limited, a subsidiary of Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited, a developer, owner and operator of casino gaming and entertainment resort facilities in Asia. The facility refinanced an existing senior secured financing of the Melco Resorts Macau group, and provides an option to incur further indebtedness under incremental facilities of up to HK$7.75 billion.
Advised the arrangers on the senior secured facilities to WM Holding (HK) Limited and WM New Retail Limited for their acquisition of majority stake in the Chinese operations of METRO, the German wholesaler by Wumei Technology Group, a leading retailer in China.
Advised The global coordinators, mandated lead arrangers, underwriters and bookrunners on:
- the 2017 US$3.5 billion senior secured term and revolving credit facilities to Alipay (Hong Kong) Holding Limited to finance its proposed take-private acquisition of MoneyGram International, Inc. and other investments; and
- the 2019 US$3 billion upsize and US$3.5 billion amendment and extension transactions in respect of Alipay (Hong Kong) Holding Limited's newly sized US$6.5 billion senior secured revolving credit facilities.
Alipay is a leading third-party mobile and online payment platform and the world's largest payment and lifestyle platform. Alipay is operated by Ant Financial Services Group, a leading global TechFin company and a member of Alibaba Digital Economy.
Advised the mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners in US$238 million term and revolving facilities to Lifestyles Healthcare Pte. Ltd., a portfolio company owned by CITIC Capital and Humanwell Healthcare, to refinance its 2018 acquisition financing.
Advised the mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners on the senior secured facility to a CITIC Capital led consortium for the acquisition of the LELO group. The LELO group is an award-winning designer brand and world-leading provider of intimate lifestyle products and sensual toys.
Advised the mandated lead arrangers on the RMB equivalent of US$300 million acquisition facility for New Frontier Corporation to support its acquisition of United Family Healthcare from TPG and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group. The debt financing is one of the first few PRC cross-border leveraged financings denominated in RMB. New Frontier Corporation is a special purpose acquisition company listed on NYSE.
Advised China CITIC Bank International Limited as global coordinator, mandated lead arranger, underwriter and bookrunner and agent in a US$1 billion mezzanine syndicated term loan to Tianqi Lithium Australia Investments 2 Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Chinese new energy materials company Tianqi Lithium Corporation, which is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, for the acquisition of a stake in SQM, a Chilean lithium miner.
Advised Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited as Mandated Lead Arranger and Bookrunner, Agent and Security Agent in connection with the senior secured facilities for DCP Capital Partners' acquisition of MFS Technology. DCP Capital Partners is a global private equity firm based in Hong Kong. MFS Technology is a Singapore-based printed circuits board solution provider with applications focused on automotive, industrial systems, medical devices and data storage. MFS Technology operates out of Singapore, Malaysia and China.
Advised Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Nomura, Standard Chartered Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as mandated lead arrangers and lenders on the senior facilities for Bain Capital’s acquisition of Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA). TMA is the world’s leading seaplane operator (2017) and has the world's largest seaplane fleet.
Advised the private credit fund and other financial institutions on the financing to subsidiaries of HNA Holding Group Co., Ltd. for the voluntary general offer for all the issued shares in CWT Limited, a Singapore-listed integrated logistics solutions provider.
Advised Bank of China Limited, Macau Branch as lender and agent in respect of a HK$234 million super-senior revolving credit financing and Deutsche Bank as sole global coordinator and left lead bookrunner for US$1.2 billion dual-tranche senior secured notes, and Bank of China Limited, Macau Branch as senior secured creditor and agent with respect to the collateral and intercreditor arrangements in connection with the refinancing of Studio City Company's existing indebtedness. At the time of closing, the transaction was the largest high-yield corporate bond issuance in Asia for 2016 and is one of the first transactions in the Asian market comprising a pari passu bank/bond platform with super-senior credit facilities.