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Amarchand unbeatable in QIP league Q3; 6 firms chase

Qualified Institutional Placements (QIPs)
Qualified Institutional Placements (QIPs)

Amarchand Mangaldas has significantly expanded its lead in the qualified institutional placement (QIP) stakes, acting on eight out of 18 QIPs filed in the third quarter of 2009. AZB & Partners and Khaitan & Co bagged three mandates each, with J Sagar Associates (JSA) and Crawford Bayley picking up two each.

International firms like Jones Day and Dorsey & Whitney each scored four international mandates for the syndicate banks, taking them to second and third position respectively behind Amarchand.

Amarchand advised the issuer as corporate counsel on all eight of the firm's QIPs, according to Legally India's analysis of prospectuses filed with the National Stock Exchange between 1 October and 31 December 2009.

In the last quarter Amarchand advised India's largest retailer Pantaloon Retail (up to Rs 500 crore issue (around $110m)); Aditya Birla group's Hindalco Industries ($600m); HCL (Rs 473 crores); Aban Offshore (Rs 698 crores); Adhunik Metaliks (Rs 137 crore); Mumbai Metropolitan Region's real estate developer Sunteck Realty Limited ($34m); construction firm Unity Infraprojects (Rs 73 crores) and Gammon India ($65m).

AZB acted on a total of three mandates; two for issuer companies L&T and Jai Balaji and one for domestic bankers in Hindalco's fundraising. Mumbai office partner Shameek Chaudhuri heads the capital markets team of the firm.

Khaitan & Co improved its standing in the league table by advising the bankers in Jai Balaji and Aban Offshore and the issuer company in KSK Energy Ventures as corporate counsel.

Jones Day received instructions from banks in four QIPs in Hindalco, Jai Balaji, KSK Energy and Gammon India.

Jones Day Singapore partner Manoj Bhargava who was recently promoted in the India focused capital markets division said that the last quarter of 2009 was extremely active with the number of QIP's that were filed.

"It is a good tool for raising money quickly, they'll continue to remain a popular source of revenues for companies," he added.

Bhargava said that instructions were primarily won through the firm's relationship with the leading syndicate Indian and international banks, as well as direct relationships with the issuers at times.

For Bhargava, Hindalco was one of the largest and complicated QIP done by Jones Day due to the diversity and operation of the company and also because of the speed and size of the placement.

"We were excited," he said. "Our association with Hindalco in this QIP was the second transaction we did for the company in less than a year. We feel proud to be a part of it and this is one deal to watch out for."

Besides Jones Day and Dorsey and Whitney, international firms Linklaters and Clifford Chance outperformed many Indian firms with two mandates each and positioned themselves in top slots in Legally India's QIP league table.

DLA Piper also made its debut in the league table after advising the international lead managers in the QIPs of Aban Offshore and HCL.

The London office of Dorsey & Whitney led the syndicate bankers in Patel Engineering (Rs 3,443 crores), Allied Digital (Rs 231 crores) and J Kumar Infraprojects (Rs 55 crores) and its Hong Kong office advised on Unity Infraprojects' QIP.

Clifford Chance Singapore acted as advisors to international lead managers in Welspun Gujarat Stahl Rohren ($ 100m) and Sunteck Realty ($34m).

Linklaters Singapore and London offices acted on one transaction each of L&T and Vijay Mallya's United Spirits.

Crawford Bayley was instructed as corporate counsel for placements of Patel Engineering and Allied Digital.

Meanwhile, JSA has steadily risen in the league table with two mandates from the issuers in the QIPs of Welspun Gujarat Stahl Rohren ($100m) and Bajaj Electricals (Rs 160 crores).       

However, Luthra & Luthra and S&R Associates both fell behind after only engaging in a single QIP mandate each compared to three in the first half of 2009. Luthra & Luthra acted as banks' counsel on Patel Engineering and S&R for KSK Energy Ventures.

One capital markets lawyer said that the number of QIP instructions was often the "luck of the draw", which was linked to previous initial public offering (IPO) instructions for the issuing company or other factors outside of a firm's control.

Kanga & Co, Wadia Ghandy and Bharucha & Partners each bagged their first mandate have yet to make it into the threshold of the league table.

For Rajani Associates and Nishith Desai & Associates (NDA), however, this quarter marked the firms' new entry into the league table after their 2009-10 half-year instructions on the September Ackruti City and the August Orbit Corporation QIPs respectively.

In November 2009, NDA had advised Sunteck Realty as bankers' counsel and in December Rajani Associates acted for J. Kumar Infraprojects as corporate counsel.

Update 22 January 2010: We have confirmed Desai & Diwanji's second QIP instruction this financial year. The firm acted as domestic bankers' counsel in the L&T issue, in addition to its role in acting for the banks in July 2009's REI Agro QIP.

QIP legal advisers' league table 31 March - 31 December 2009

Firm Total mandates FY 09-10 to date (Q3 mandates only in brackets)
Company mandates Bank mandates
1 Amarchand Mangaldas 32 (+8)
27 (+8) 5
2 Jones Day 10 (+4) - 10 (+4)
3 Dorsey & Whitney 8 (+4) - 8 (+4)
4 AZB & Partners 7 (+3) 3 (+2) 4 (+1)
5 Linklaters 7 (+2) - 7 (+2)
6 Clifford Chance 6 (+2) - 6 (+2)
7 J Sagar Associates (JSA) 5 (+2) 5 (+2) -
8 Crawford Bayley 5 (+2) 4 (+2) 1
9 Khaitan & Co 5 (+3) 2 (+1) 2 (+2)
10 S&R Associates 4 (+1) 2 2 (+1)
11 Luthra & Luthra 4 (+1)
1 (+1) 3
12 Allen & Overy 3 - 3
12 Latham & Watkins 3 - 3
12 DLA Piper
3 (+2) - 3 (+2)
15 Rajani Associates 2 (+1) 2 (+1) -
16 Nishith Desai & Associates (NDA) 2 (+1) 1 1 (+1)
Desai & Diwanji
2 (+1)
2 (+1)
17 Skadden Arps 2 - 2
Source: Legally India analysis of 52 QIP draft and final prospectuses available from the National Stock Exchange of India and filed between 31 March 2009 and 31 December 2009. Only firms acting on more than one transaction were included and in case of a tie-breaker the number of company mandates decides.
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