Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) advised ICBC Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. (“ICBC Leasing”) on the US$544m sale and lease back of ten 2019-built Suezmax tankers with Frontline Ltd. (“Frontline”). Frontline used the proceeds to fund the acquisition of the ten vessels from Trafigura Maritime Logistics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trafigura Group Pte Ltd.
Part of ICBC Group, ICBC Leasing is a leading leasing firm in China providing aviation leasing, shipping leasing, equipment leasing in addition to operating investment management businesses. Frontline is one of the world’s largest oil tanker shipping companies, owning and operating one of the largest and most modern fleets in the industry.
The WFW Hong Kong Maritime team advising ICBC Leasing was led by Of Counsel (PRC) Guan Jian, supported by Hong Kong Office Head Madeline Leong, Senior Registered Foreign Lawyer Jonathan Keats and Legal Assistant Winnie Cheung. They worked closely with WFW Chairman Nigel Thomas in London, as well as with WFW New York, including Office Head Daniel Rodgers and Associate Liam Ray who advised on the New York and Marshall Islands law aspects of the transaction.
Guan Jian commented: “This is an important transaction for both ICBC Leasing and Frontline as it is the first of its kind undertaken by Frontline and extends ICBC Leasing’s client base. We were able to bring to bear our experience and expertise advising on multi-jurisdictional transactions to help ensure its success, reaffirming WFW’s standing as the leading legal advisers for Chinese leasing projects”.