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March 14, 2011 7:25 PM

Latham Advises on Carlyle Group's $5 Billion Shipping Joint Venture

Posted by Irene Plagianos

Private equity giant The Carlyle Group announced on Monday that it’s creating a joint venture to buy more than $5 billion in shipping vessels and assets.

Carlyle is forming the venture with Hong Kong-based Tiger Group Investments and shipping company Seaspan Corp. along with a pair of Seaspan executives and shareholder, the Washington family. The new company will focus on Chinese shipbuilders, lenders, and state-owned companies.

Gerry Wang, chief executive of Seaspan, one of the world’s largest containership owners, will lead the venture, along with Graham Porter, Seaspan’s managing director. The company plans to commit $900 million in equity capital over the next five years.

Latham & Watkins, which has a long relationship with Carlyle, advised the firm on the deal. The Washington, D.C., based team was led by corporate partner Daniel Lennon, and tax partner Cheryl Coe and includes partners Douglas Greenburg and Barton Clark. New York partner Charles Carpenter also advised.

Lennon, chair of the D.C. office's corporate department, advised Carlyle on a number of large deals in the past. In December, Lennon and a Latham team advised Carlyle and its HCR Manor Care in the $6.1 billion sale of real estate assets to HCP Inc.

Perkins Coie represented Seaspan, with a team that included business partner David Matheson and tax partner Richard Peterson. Vancouver firm Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy tax partner Mark Chu advised on Canadian tax matters.

The Washington Family looked to K&L Gates on the deal, with corporate partner Stephan Coonrod leading, along with partners Chris Visser, Robert Starin, and Charles Purcell. The firm represented the Washington family in previous matters.

According to a press release from The Carlyle Group announcing the deal, Shearman & Sterling advised Tiger on the joint venture. Stecker also advised Tiger Group in its joint venture with Seacor Holdings in 2010.

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