Yew Chen is a Corporate M&A lawyer with a specialisation in Regulatory & Trade, and Technology, Media & Telecommunications laws.
He regularly advises on cross border transactions, mergers and acquisitions, telecommunications projects, trade, and general corporate and regulatory matters. His expertise in the corporate space extends to advising private equity funds, multinationals, and public and private companies on these areas of law, and is familiar with the various regulatory authorities for competition, telecommunications, and trade.
Yew Chen was recently featured on The Asia Pacific Legal 500 TMT Hall of Fame which highlights individuals who are at the pinnacle of their profession and have received constant praise from their clients for continued excellence. Yew Chen is also recognised as a Distinguished Practitioner for Corporate M&A by Asialaw Profiles and is ranked as a Tier 1 Corporate M&A Lawyer by Asia Pacific Legal 500.
Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate & Commercial
- Acted for Air Liquide Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of the biggest industrial gas company headquartered in France, on its acquisition of 100% of the shares in Southern Industrial Gas Sdn Bhd from SIG Gases Berhad.
- Acted for a Japanese-based sogo shosha general trading company in its acquisition of a 30% minority stake in a Malaysian telecommunications infrastructure company and its subsidiaries. Our advice was crucial and relied upon in the structure the joint venture to ensure compliance with local restrictions on foreign equity in the telecommunications. We also advised on anti-bribery, anti-corruption, and anti-money laundering issues, which have received special attention from global market players.
- Represented Johnson Control (S) Pte Ltd and Johnson Control (M) Sdn Bhd in an acquisition of electronics business held by various entities in the region.
- Advised a subsidiary of one of Malaysia’s leading telecommunications company on its acquisition of the business and assets of a Malaysian-based cloud solutions company, marking its foray into the enterprise cloud computing solutions business.
- Represented Homage Co Pte Ltd & Homage Sdn Bhd in securing a Series B round of funding from various VC funds for scaling an online healthcare platform business in the region.
- Advised a telecommunications operator on its twin acquisitions of the business and assets of two separate IT and enterprise cloud computing solutions businesses.
- Acted as the lead counsel for the founders of Munchy’s and TAP Crunch Sdn Bhd (joint-venture entity between a private equity fund and the Malaysian Government’s pension fund) in the sale of the entire share capital of Munchy Food Industries Sdn Bhd, one of Malaysia’s largest snack manufacturers with operations in 3 countries, and supply chains to 50 countries.
- Advised the owners on the restructuring and disposal of their group companies and assets in Malaysia, China and Indonesia for RM900 million to a global private equity firm.
- Acted for the private equity arm of a leading Singaporean investment firm on their acquisition of an indirect stake in an integrated producer, distributor and brand owner of milk and yogurt products, as well as its 3 Malaysian subsidiaries and 2 Australian subsidiaries (“Group”). This indirect acquisition involved a complex structure, including the purchase of secondary shares in one of the shareholders in the Group and the subscription of irredeemable convertible preference shares in two of the shareholders in the Group.
- Successfully acted for one of Southeast Asia’s biggest private equity firms in its acquisition of a majority stake in one of the largest and fastest growing premium supermarket chains in East Malaysia. This acquisition is crucial in expanding the private equity firm’s presence in the premium supermarket segment to East Malaysia.
- Advised a pharmaceutical retailer on its acquisition of a chain of pharmacies via a competitive bid process.
- Advised, in two separate transactions, a private equity fund and a foreign publicly listed company, on their respective acquisitions of two cinema chains in Malaysia.
- Advised on the disposal of factory operations in Malaysia and Shanghai to a UK public listed company.
- Advised a private equity fund on the acquisition of an Indonesian manufacturing business.
- Advised a Malaysian public listed company on its joint venture operations in South Africa.
- Advised a Malaysian public listed company on its acquisition of a stake in a GBP500 million biomass power plant, including the acquisition of an Isle of Man company for its operations.
- Advised a Malaysian government-linked company on the disposal of its cable car operating subsidiary.
- Advised a Malaysian public listed company on the disposal of its machine shop business to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese multinational corporation.
- Advised a Malaysian private company on the acquisition of a German technology company specialising in 3D technology.
- Advised several clients on their acquisitions and investments in the food and beverage industry.
- Advised a client on the sale of their digital advertising business to a multinational advertising company.
- Advised a public listed company on its corporate restructuring exercise pursuant to the Listing Requirements of Bursa Securities.
- Advised the Employees Provident Fund and Maybank Private Equity on the restructuring and sale of their investment in a biomass group of companies.
FinTech & Financial Regulatory
- Advising a digital wallet subsidiary of an American social media conglomerate on regulatory and licensing requirements in its efforts to set up a digital asset exchange. We advised on regulatory requirements relating to compliance, staffing, governance, data protection, and other operational, regulatory requirements, preparation of application bundles, and are also involved with correspondence with local regulators.
- Advised an American multinational financial services corporation on their acquisition of Southeast Asia’s largest e-hailing phone app’s payment entity as a merchant for transactions carried out by the local entities in Malaysia.
- Advising an on-demand food delivery marketplace provider on with regards to the regulatory requirements on fintech and payment services as it seeks to develop a new payment service in the form of an e-wallet business model.
- Advising a leading global payments solutions provider in connection to the introduction of an instalment enablement program in Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The advice included the key legal considerations in respect of the instalment enablement program from the perspective of Malaysian laws, including considerations under the Financial Services Act and the applicable Central Bank guidelines, as well as, Competition Act 2010 and its related guidelines.
- Advising a leading global payments solutions provider in connection the legal and regulatory requirements that apply to its clients in Malaysia, and considered the various use cases (e.g. in relation to P2P, merchant settlement and others) and how its product may be impacted due to local legal and regulatory requirements.
Regulatory & Trade
- Advised and assisted two different foreign banks with the establishment of their respective commercial banking subsidiaries in Malaysia.
- Advised a multinational oil & gas company on its compliance programme on anti-bribery & corruption, sanctions & trade, data privacy, and competition laws.
- Advised a multinational engineering company on its annual compliance programme for its business in Malaysia, including on its annual compliance questionnaires relating to compliance issues on corporate matters, environmental issues, commercial, regulatory, licensing, transportation, and competition.
- Advised various clients on trading with entities on the Malaysian restricted list, including compliance with US Anti-Boycott laws in conjunction with US counsel.
- Advised various clients on laws and regulations on cross border trading through e-commerce platforms.
- Advised a Malaysian long haul low cost carrier on its collaboration with two other airlines in Malaysia and the implications of the collaboration under the Competition Act 2010.
- Advised a Malaysian long haul low cost carrier on its collaboration agreements with a regional short haul low cost carrier and the implications of the agreements under the Competition Act 2010.
- Advised a Malaysian public listed telecommunications provider on the anti-competition provisions under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
- Advised various clients on import and export laws for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Advised various clients on the Malaysian Customs tariffs and licensing requirements across a broad range of products and industries.
- Advising an association and a regulator on their respective draft codes of practice for data protection for their industry, as required under the Personal Data Protection Act 2010.
Technology, Media & Telecommunications
- Acted as Malaysian counsel for a foreign telecommunications company in relation to the provision of regulatory advice on the allocation of spectrum for satellite services, liaising with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission on behalf of the client with regards to the relevant applications, assisting with incorporation of a local entity and other incidental legal services.
- Advised one of the largest telecommunications operators in Malaysia on its strategic collaboration with the largest content provider in Malaysia.
- Acted for the Malaysian arm of a European multinational networking and telecommunications company in a potential dispute arising from a framework agreement for the provision of operational support systems and other managed services for the telecommunications infrastructure of one of Malaysia’s largest cellular operators.
- Advised a telecommunications operator on its rights to challenge the Government’s proposed reallocation of mobile broadband spectrum bands in Malaysia including drafting the submission to the public inquiry.
- Advised one of the largest telecommunications tower infrastructure companies in Malaysia on their proposed “sale and leaseback” of all universal service provision sites in Malaysia designated by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.
- Advised two different mobile telecommunications operators on their rights to challenge spectrum reallocation by the Government in 2016 and 2019, respectively.
- Advised a multinational corporation that provides online content on the establishment of its operations in Malaysia.
- Advised on the establishment of an Internet service provider in Malaysia, including its operations and negotiations with telecommunication vendors and service providers.
- Advised an ITC service provider on its RM900 million dispute with a multinational software company.
- Advised a Malaysian public listed telecommunications company on its RM4 billion multi-vendor procurement contracts for High Speed Broadband in Malaysia.
- Advised a Malaysian public listed company on the rollout of its RM2.5 billion WiMAX network in Malaysia and its multi-vendor negotiations for the acquisition of network elements and rollout of a multi-vendor network environment.
- Acted as lead counsel for the restructuring and outsourcing of various IT-related contracts for a multinational company involving over 60 jurisdictions globally.
- Advised a Malaysian public listed telecommunications company on its RM11.3 billion public private partnership with the Government of Malaysia for the rollout of High Speed Broadband in Malaysia.
- Acted for a Swedish multinational telecommunications provider in its US$780 million bid to provide outsourcing services for a leading Malaysian telecommunications company.
- Advised the subsidiaries of a Malaysian public listed company on the drafting of its agreements with respect to e-commerce, data protection and privacy laws.
- Advised various multinational telecommunication companies and service providers on the regulatory and licensing requirements of the Malaysian telecommunications industry, including their respective applications for various licences under the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
Memberships / Directorships
- Member, Future in Technology Committee, Bar Council, Malaysia
- Legal Advisor, Hong Kong – Malaysia Business Association
- Co-author, Chapter on Entertainment, Bullen & Leake & Jacob’s Malaysian Precedents of Pleading (2017, 2019 update)
- Co-author, MAICSA’s Quick Guide on the Companies Act 2016 (2017)
- Co-author, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Malaysia”, Global Trade and Customs Journal, Volume 11, Issue 4 (2016)
- Co-author, Media & Entertainment Law, Thompson Reuters (2013)
- General editor and regular contributor of articles to the Firm’s dedicated monthly column on legal issues in theSun, a Malaysian newspaper, since 2010