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Portrait ofBabita Ambekar

Babita Ambekar

Partner
Head of India Desk, APAC

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
London
EC4N 6AF
United Kingdom
Languages English, Gujarati, Marathi, Japanese, Mandarin, Hindi, French

Babita is a partner, specialising in cross border M&A, capital raising, new market entry, joint ventures and restructurings.

Babita has an established track record in advising on cross-border transactions and her sectors of focus include: technology, life sciences, consumer and renewables. Her clients include publicly listed entities, multinational conglomerates and regional corporates. 

Babita has over 20 years of experience in Asia Pacific and has worked on matters involving Singapore, Japan, India, Myanmar, Cambodia, Nepal, Malaysia, Korea, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Taiwan, China, Thailand and Vietnam.

Babita is ranked in India Business Law Journal’s A-List 2022 as one of the top 100 India-focused legal practitioners globally and has been recognised as Non-resident Indian Lawyer of the Year by the Indian National Bar Association.

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Recognised as "Responsible, knowledgeable and solution-oriented" in The Legal 500 2019 rankings.

Legal 500, 2019

Ranked in India Business Law Journal’s A-List 2020 as one of the top 100 India-focused legal practitioners globally.

India Business Law Journal

Recommended in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific and Asialaw Profiles in the categories of Corporate / M&A, Energy & Resources and India.

Legal 500

Described in the 2019 Client Feedback Survey by AsiaLaw as having “Impressive handling skills. Excellent negotiator too.”

AsiaLaw Client Feedback Survey, 2019

Referenced by clients as a “seasoned, mature and capable lawyer [who is] dependable, effective and quick to respond.”

Ambekar, Babita, feedback from clients

Relevant experience

  • Krazybee, one of the largest online lending platforms in India, on its investment round involving a Hong Kong headquartered entity.
  • A minority shareholder in relation to the sale by Axiata of a 10% stake in its Cambodian telecommunications entity to Mitsui. 
  • A global renewable energy developer and investor on its acquisition of a majority stake in a Southeast Asian solar business.
  • Barilla Group on regional commercial and regulatory matters across Asia Pacific.
  • HCL Infosystems on intragroup acquisitions and disposals in conjunction with the divestment of part of its Singapore business to PCCW.
  • A Government of India Enterprise involved in the exploration and production business, on Myanmar market entry-related aspects.
  • Prathamesh Solar Farms, a joint venture between Ostro Energy and Suzlon, on international aspects in relation to a solar power project in Telangana, India.
  • Uncharted, an InsurTech start-up, on its funding round, establishment of ESOP and various other corporate and commercial matters.    
  • A retail group on its global reorganisation, involving entities in the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Middle East, Indonesia and the USA. 
  • Cadila Healthcare Limited, on various regional market entry and distribution matters.
  • Nexus Venture Partners in relation to its investment in nektar.ai.
  • A Japan-focused private equity fund on its acquisition and sale of various hospitality projects in Osaka and Kyoto.  
  • Cityneon on its licensing arrangements with Marvel and Hasbro, local partner joint venture initiatives and various other corporate matters.
  • GlobeOne, a financial services intermediary, on a multi-jurisdictional project to determine the legal and regulatory framework for its services in several emerging and mature markets.    
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Publications

  • 2020 - “A Comparison of Energy Sector Regulations”, Asia Business Law Journal.
  • 2018 - “Singapore as a Hub for Indian Investments”, published in the Special Edition of “India Global Business” for UK-India Week.
  • 2018 - “Regional Developments in E-Commerce Law in Southeast Asia”.
  • 2018 - Contributor, “Investment: A Two Way Street” India’s Next Leap Forward. Essays on its Socio-Economy”.     
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Lectures list

  • 2020 - Accelerating Your Digital Strategy: Legal Implications.
  • 2020 - Consumer Goods: Trends, Opportunities and Operations.
  • 2019 - Trends in Regional M&A.
  • 2019 - Indian Multinationals and Global Innovators.
  • 2018 - Legal Perspectives on Blockchain.
  • 2016 - Choice of law in Regional Mergers and Acquisitions.
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Education

  • 2014 - Indian Business Law, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
  • 2002 - Intensive course in Mandarin language studies: Beijing Language and Culture University, Beijing.
  • 2002 - Putonghua Parts 1-3 at the British Council Hong Kong,  Hong Kong.
  • 2001 - Solicitor, England and Wales.
  • 1998 - Legal Practice Course: College of Law, London.
  • 1997 - BA (Hons) Law & Criminology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield. 
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Feed

31/01/2022
Time for transition: Energy M&A 2022
While world leaders have been gathering for COP meetings for decades, what made COP26 perhaps particularly notable is that the private sector also gathered in force, and with a commitment and determination to be a key driver in the decarbonisation of the world’s economies.  In previous years, there have been murmurings from various corporates that to make social or environmentally driven investment decisions may not align with their fiduciary duty to act in the interests of shareholders. As shareholder activism has driven the debate into boardrooms from above, this attitude is rapidly reversing direction. While returns are generally seen as lower in the clean sector compared to, say, the oil & gas sector, being invested in the green transition is increasingly seen as a key route to preserving and protecting shareholder value. At the same time, voluntary and mandatory climate related disclosures are aligning the drivers for investors across the board so that capital is increasingly driven by the metrics they produce.  This is being reflected in, among other things, the plummeting cost of capital for green investments. At the same time high carbon intensive investments, such as coal based projects and businesses, are struggling to secure funding, with many facing in­solv­ency. In­vest­ments in the energy transition, a key part of the green transition, will principally take the form of M&A. The outcome of COP26 and the momentum it has generated means that European dealmakers in the energy sector will be even busier in 2022. Europe leads the world in the energy transition and the race to net zero is driving near-record levels of dealmaking – notably in wind and solar photovoltaic generation.At the same time, the energy transition is both expanding and fragmenting the energy sector. For many, it has traditionally been focused on energy generation. The transition is bringing to the fore less visible technologies. Everything from traditional hydropower to grid-scale batteries, electrification of transport and hydrogen. It is also bringing into the mix sectors that have not traditionally been focused on energy, such as industrial decarbonisation, shipping and mining for the natural resources needed for the energy transition. In parallel with this, there is a huge and growing story around energy transmission and distribution. Electricity networks will need to expand massively to facilitate electrification and new technologies. They are also becoming smarter with the use of digital technology to optimise the way power is distributed, traded and consumed. Further, new types of networks may provide investment opportunities for those looking for stable long term assets, such as hydrogen and carbon networks.Against this background, traditional fossil fuel-based players are decarbonising their operations. For the oil and gas majors, this means acquiring or significantly enhancing their capabilities in renewables, including wind, solar and hydrogen, while simultaneously divesting selected carbon-intensive assets in response to mounting ESG pressures. This may be one of the reasons why 50% of respondents in our study point to distress-driven deals as a top sell-side driver.Change is endemic in the energy sector, but the current transition makes the years since liberalisation of energy markets in the late 1980s seem almost steady-state in comparison. Despite the momentum and push for capital to be invested in the energy transition, there remain obstacles, not least the limited pipeline of good quality investment opportunities, continuing concerns over lockdowns and COVID-19 variants, financing difficulties arising from potentially unstable long term revenue streams and diminishing rates of return. Notwithstanding these challenges, our study finds that energy sector M&A will increasingly be an engine driving capital into propositions that match social and political ambitions for the green transition. Key findings  Energy remains a premium asset class for most institutional investors, with its performance during the pandemic and impetus from COP26 further enhancing its at­tract­ive­ness75% of energy companies are considering an acquisition and/or divestment in 2022Alongside premium assets, in some subsectors there are undervalued targets driving buy-side activity, with sellers shedding distressed assets as the sector shifts in response to the energy transition45% think COVID-19 will be a major M&A obstacle in 2022, but this remains a fluid situation that can change rapidly
31/01/2022
Time for transition: Energy M&A 2022
While world leaders have been gathering for COP meetings for decades, what made COP26 perhaps particularly notable is that the private sector also gathered in force, and with a commitment and determination to be a key driver in the decarbonisation of the world’s economies.  In previous years, there have been murmurings from various corporates that to make social or environmentally driven investment decisions may not align with their fiduciary duty to act in the interests of shareholders. As shareholder activism has driven the debate into boardrooms from above, this attitude is rapidly reversing direction. While returns are generally seen as lower in the clean sector compared to, say, the oil & gas sector, being invested in the green transition is increasingly seen as a key route to preserving and protecting shareholder value. At the same time, voluntary and mandatory climate related disclosures are aligning the drivers for investors across the board so that capital is increasingly driven by the metrics they produce.  This is being reflected in, among other things, the plummeting cost of capital for green investments. At the same time high carbon intensive investments, such as coal based projects and businesses, are struggling to secure funding, with many facing in­solv­ency. In­vest­ments in the energy transition, a key part of the green transition, will principally take the form of M&A. The outcome of COP26 and the momentum it has generated means that European dealmakers in the energy sector will be even busier in 2022. Europe leads the world in the energy transition and the race to net zero is driving near-record levels of dealmaking – notably in wind and solar photovoltaic generation.At the same time, the energy transition is both expanding and fragmenting the energy sector. For many, it has traditionally been focused on energy generation. The transition is bringing to the fore less visible technologies. Everything from traditional hydropower to grid-scale batteries, electrification of transport and hydrogen. It is also bringing into the mix sectors that have not traditionally been focused on energy, such as industrial decarbonisation, shipping and mining for the natural resources needed for the energy transition. In parallel with this, there is a huge and growing story around energy transmission and distribution. Electricity networks will need to expand massively to facilitate electrification and new technologies. They are also becoming smarter with the use of digital technology to optimise the way power is distributed, traded and consumed. Further, new types of networks may provide investment opportunities for those looking for stable long term assets, such as hydrogen and carbon networks.Against this background, traditional fossil fuel-based players are decarbonising their operations. For the oil and gas majors, this means acquiring or significantly enhancing their capabilities in renewables, including wind, solar and hydrogen, while simultaneously divesting selected carbon-intensive assets in response to mounting ESG pressures. This may be one of the reasons why 50% of respondents in our study point to distress-driven deals as a top sell-side driver.Change is endemic in the energy sector, but the current transition makes the years since liberalisation of energy markets in the late 1980s seem almost steady-state in comparison. Despite the momentum and push for capital to be invested in the energy transition, there remain obstacles, not least the limited pipeline of good quality investment opportunities, continuing concerns over lockdowns and COVID-19 variants, financing difficulties arising from potentially unstable long term revenue streams and diminishing rates of return. Notwithstanding these challenges, our study finds that energy sector M&A will increasingly be an engine driving capital into propositions that match social and political ambitions for the green transition. Key findings  Energy remains a premium asset class for most institutional investors, with its performance during the pandemic and impetus from COP26 further enhancing its at­tract­ive­ness75% of energy companies are considering an acquisition and/or divestment in 2022Alongside premium assets, in some subsectors there are undervalued targets driving buy-side activity, with sellers shedding distressed assets as the sector shifts in response to the energy transition45% think COVID-19 will be a major M&A obstacle in 2022, but this remains a fluid situation that can change rapidly
08/11/2021
ESOPs and Balancing Key Stakeholder Interests
This article is produced by CMS Holborn Asia, a Formal Law Alliance between CMS Singapore and Holborn Law LLC. As the South East Asian start-up and emerging company scene continues to rapidly expand and...
21/09/2021
Singapore and UK strengthen cooperation in financial services
Green finance and carbon markets Green finance has become increasingly significant as financial instruments and tools brighten the spotlight on sustainable products and production methods, as well as...
21/09/2021
Singapore and UK strengthen cooperation in financial services
This article is produced by CMS Holborn Asia, a Formal Law Alliance between CMS Singapore and Holborn Law LLC. Introduction On 30 June 2021, Singapore and the UK entered into a landmark partnership for...
13/04/2021
The Future of Food: What makes Singapore an attractive destination for...
This article is produced by CMS Holborn Asia, a Formal Law Alliance between CMS Singapore and Holborn Law LLC. Introduction Singapore has a burgeoning AgriFoodTech ecosystem. As the first country globally...