Firm Advises on the Establishment of China’s First Luxury Cruise Company

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    Squire Patton Boggs has advised China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings Co., Limited on its joint venture with Viking Cruises to establish China’s first Chinese-flagged luxury cruise company, China Merchants Viking Cruises Ltd. The deal also involved the sale and purchase of a cruise ship, m.v. “Viking Sun®”, by the joint venture entity, which will become the first vessel in the Chinese-flagged premium cruise fleet offering cultural coastal cruises in the region.

    The team, led from Singapore and Hong Kong by Financial Services partner Kate Sherrard, Corporate partner Nicholas Chan, senior associate Bernice Chia and associate Chua Aik Hui, advised on various aspects of the transaction, including the initial due diligence in relation to the cruise business and operations, maritime aspects, corporate and finance structuring and the sale and purchase of the cruise ship. The team also worked closely with Chinese local counsel to provide advice on all other Chinese-related aspects of the transaction, including foreign-exchange controls and maritime licences, approvals and other registration requirements.

    The transaction and unique partnership will play a part in the wider strategy of the joint venture entity to drive and develop China’s high-end domestic coastal cruise market by offering dedicated experiences to the Chinese market.

    Ms. Sherrard and Ms. Chia joined Squire Patton Boggs from Clifford Chance in January of this year, as part of the expansion of the firm’s Commodities & Shipping Industry Group. Ms. Sherrard and Ms. Chia specialise in the financing of maritime and offshore oil and gas assets and represent corporates, leasing companies, banks and financial investors on matters across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

    The Commodities & Shipping Industry Group provides a full range of legal services on all aspects of international trade and shipping and across all commodity sectors, including advice and assistance with transactions, corporate matters, trade finance, litigation and arbitration, regulatory matters, environmental law, renewable energy, derivatives and projects.

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