Telenor Group's 701Search merger with Carousell

By Marcus Chow, Beng Chai Tay, Goh Seow Hui

12-2019

Bird & Bird ATMD recently acted as counsel to Norwegian multinational telecommunications company Telenor Group in the merger of 701Search with online marketplace operator Carousell Pte Ltd in a part-cash part-equity deal.

The merger between Carousell and Telenor Group's 701Search, which owns leading general classified sites Mudah in Malaysia, Cho Tot in Vietnam, and OneKyat in Myanmar, resulted in Carousell's value rising to more than US$850 million (S$1.16 billion). Following the merger, 701Search’s Singapore-based regional team will be fully integrated into Carousell. Mudah, Chotot and OneKyat will retain their individual brands and platforms, continuing their operations in Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar respectively.

Carousell was founded in 2012 and has established itself as one of Southeast Asia's fastest growing start-ups, with leading positions in Singapore and Hong Kong. Some of its current investors include Naspers, Sequoia Capital, Rakuten Ventures, 500 Startups and Golden Gate Ventures.

The matter was referred by Bird & Bird UK partner Graeme Maguire and was led by corporate partner Marcus Chow and supported by counsel Jolie Giouw, senior associate Jonathan Kao and associates Jaclyn Chow, Anisha Jalla and Xing Yi Tan. Singapore employment partner Seow Hui Goh and senior associate Jaqueline Tang advised on employment law matters arising from the transaction. Bird & Bird Hong Kong partner Michelle Chan was involved in the Hong Kong corporate legal due diligence matters. On the Malaysian law issues of the transaction, the Bird & Bird team, through its Singapore corporate partner Beng Chai Tay, worked closely with its Malaysian co-operation firm.